Toledo - Toledo guide, attractions and pictures

Toledo Travel Guide

Referred to as ‘the imperial city’ or La Ciudad Imperial, Toledo is situated overlooking River Tagus or Rio Tajo near the capital city of Spain, Madrid. Perched atop a Castillian hill, this sacred historic city is full with religious sites and numerous monuments. Deceptively small, Toledo city is considered to be a leading economical, social and political hub in Spain. Declared as a World Heritage City by UNESCO, the city has an illustrious history that is unique and over two thousand years old.

Toledo enjoys continental climate and welcomes moderate rainfall in the months of February and November. The climate of the city is also influenced slightly by the River Tajo that flows about the historic town centre of Toledo.

History - A melting pot of various cultures and regimes that have influenced Spain, Toledo originated in ‘Toletum’ a Roman settlement in River Tagus’ banks. During the Visigothic era, the city became Hispania’s capital in the sixth century. In the eighth century, the arrival of Arabs resulted in Toledo becoming the ‘city of three cultures’ since Jews and Christians were already living there. The Toledo school of translators was established during this period that is dubbed as a splendid period in the city’s history. The city was Spain’s capital till mid 1500 and after that Madrid became the country’s capital.

Attractions - With the strong influence of Arab, Christian and Jewish cultures, the city of Toledo is a diverse and opulent city. The impact of multiple cultures has resulted in the city being replete with plenty of places of worship making Toledo, ‘holy Toledo’. Amidst the labyrinthine cobbled streets in the city, you can find many historically rich sites, thronged by tourists.

The Cathedral - Home to splendid stained glass, exquisite stone and wood sculptures, intricate iron work and an extensive painting collection, the Cathedral looks majestic with its Gothic tower.

El Greco House and Museum - A world renowned painter El Greco adopted Toledo as his home and his works are preserved with great reverence in this museum.

El Alcazar - The Alcazar, an imposing fort built in the year 1805 was the imperial residence of Carlos I.

Hospital de Tavera - The Tavera Hospital founded in 1541 now houses an extensive art collection that is inclusive of Claudio Coelle’s painting of Princess Clara, Titian’s Portrait of Emperor Carlos V, El Greco’s Baptism of Christ, etc.

Monasterio de Santo Domingo El Antiguo - Santa Domingo El Antiguo Monastery, an eleventh century convent showcases religious artifacts and works of El Greco.

Synagogue of the Dormition – The Synagogue is renowned for its cedar of Lebanon ceiling.

Other must visit tourist attractions in Toledo are St. John of the Kings Church, St. Thomas’ Church, St. Mary of the White Synagogue, Museo de Santa Cruz, San Roman Church, Museum of the Visigothic Councils, San Juan de Los Reyes, Cabaneros National Park and many more.

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