Where can you find the Alcázar, Disney’s inspiration for Cinderella’s castle?
If you look at any of the Disney feature movies you will often see a picture of a castle. Walt Disney, the founder and creator of animation, his inspiration for a fairy castle was the castle in Segovia.
The word alcázar is an Arabic word meaning fortress or castle. There are many alcázars in Spain. Many were built during the Middle Ages during the occupation of Iberia (Spain Portugal) by the Moors or Berbers from Gibraltar. The Moors were Muslim refugees who had settled in North Africa between the 1200s and 1400s. One such castle is the Alcázar de Segovia about an hour from Madrid. Alcázar de Segovia has been build and rebuilt over the centuries. It is perched on a high cliff and has the shape of the bow of a ship. In 1862 a fire destroyed some of the turrets and it was rebuilt again. Over the years, it has been used as a fortress, a prison, and a Military Academy. Today, it is museum which is open to the general public and a part-time residence of royalty. When you take a tour, you will see nine rooms with exquisite carvings and decorations, a chapel, and an armory. One of the more spectacular rooms has hundreds of carved shields hanging from the ceiling. The shields resemble pine cones so the room is called Sala de Las Pinas.