Church of Saint Esteban: Detail, portal and arcade windows with paired colonnettes
In the late 11th century, Segovia was absorbed into the kingdom of Castile. Its newly acquired importance is illustrated by the extraordinary concentration of 13 Romanesque churches in and around the city. Most are built in a distinctive Segovian style, with tall, narrow, steep-roofed towers and external arcades--more reminiscent of Aragon, or even Lombardy, than of Castile. S Esteban (13th century) has a single-cell nave and external cloisters with paired colonnettes and zigzag ornament on the arches. It is distinguished by its tower (h. 53 m, ca. early 13th century), the first stage of which is square and blank; above it are five arcaded stages. The first two have two blank arches with single archivolts on each side; the next two have pierced openings with double archivolts; and the top stage has three narrower arches.