In a distant past, Segovia was a wealthy capital, owing to its agriculture, farming, and particularly its wool manufacturing industry; the famous Segovia cloth was well known throughout Europe. Furthermore, Isabel, the Catholic Princess, was crowned Queen at the city’s Main Square; King Philip II wed under the Parade Ground of its Alcázar or Fortress. However, during the last decades of the 18th century, the historic city of Segovia, which is currently listed in the World Heritage, was experiencing one of the dimmest moments of its history, following the decline and population drift of the city.
Hopes rested on the construction of the Railway that would unite Segovia with the place of residence of the Royal Court; thus, people hoped, this small city that was almost unknown in Spain and internationally ignored, would be toured and become the sightseeing grounds of a great number of visitors.
In 1884, such longed-for event finally took place in Segovia. Great efforts were made: Inns, Lodgings, Furnaces, Cheap Restaurants, Wine and Food dispensing Establishments, and Inns were built. Among the millenary stones of the Aqueduct that had been erected by the Romans, this inn, the sole survivor of all those public houses, was open. It was located in an older building constructed with brick and Tuscan order arches and colonnades.
These old visitors were joined by those who arrived at the Square of Azoguejo in dusty and noisy stagecoaches that linked the city with its administrative centres. They attended the weekly market that was held every Thursday since the times of Our Lord King Alfonso VI, who granted this royal privilege to the city of Segovia. For centuries, the market was held at the Azoguejo, which became the favourite spot of merchants and travellers alike.
However, the visitors from across the mountain took some time to arrive in the city in masses. It would be necessary to wait until the 20th century, and the powerful historical evolution, for this to happen.
From those hostels that were established along the Roman Aqueduct, this old Inn is the only one that prevails and that still serves its visitors on a daily basis.
Cándido was a mythical character of his generation. He devoted his whole life to his profession: Catering. From his Inn of Azoguejo, he provided his chivalrous and splendid hospitality for over half a century. As he presented the piglets he had cooked, he proceeded to carve them with the edge of a plate. This ritual, which is well known around the world, served to promote the Inn and contributed to make it world-famous also for its wines and delicious stews.
At the present time his son, Alberto Cándido, holds the title of Head Innkeeper of Castile and leads the family business along with his wife and children, who will also continue the family tradition in due time. They are fully aware of their great responsibility to preserve this historic legacy, which has been preserved and enriched generation after generation since 1905.
Mesón de Cándido
Throughout the last 50 years, the Inn was listed in the inventory of artistic monuments of the city, under the B.C. caption. In accordance with the Decree of 12th July 1941, the building was remodelled and enlarged, in compliance with the General Guidelines of Architecture and Fine Arts. The collection of mural paintings depicting sites of our city and province, which illustrate many traditions and customs, many of which have already disappeared, deserves a special mention, too.
The establishment’s Golden Books are a valuable bibliographic collection. It contains signatures, autographs, and opinions of the inn’s visitors, which include Kings and Queens, Emperors and Empresses, members of different Royal Houses, Heads of State, Politicians, Ambassadors, Nobel Prizes, Writers, Poets, and Artists of all kinds who honoured the place with their presence and left their own memento.
The Gallery of Famous Men and Women contains framed scrolls with the signatures of these prominent visitors.
The Inn enjoys international acclaim and therefore, the greatest service that the Cándido family can offer is to preserve this Inn of Azoguejo as a homage to its ancestors, and as the best service to the HIGHLY NOBLE AND LOYAL CITY OF SEGOVIA.