You are in Madrid and you want get out of the turmoil of a metropolis and throw yourself headlong into Spanish history? Well, going to see Toledo is just what it takes. It is precisely Spanish history because Toledo in the past was the Spanish capital before Madrid.
What to see in Toledo in Spain
The distance between Madrid and Toledo is just short, a few kilometers by train and you can get to this beautiful city. I think they are about 70km but I wouldn't want to be wrong, in any case it is possible to take a day trip starting from the Spanish capital.
If you wish instead sleeping in Toledo here is a list of hotels where you can sleep , Toledo is beautiful so a night on the town is great.
It is not easy to summarize what to see in Toledo, In fact visit Toledo it means to face centuries and centuries of history. Every street in Toledo has an anecdote why the street was named that way. Miguel, the guide with whom I visited Toledo, even told me about a small street that took a name referring to the bells, precisely because in the past thieves tried to steal the bells and one fell in that street. I was amazed by this answer, yet Toledo is like this: a concentration of centuries and centuries.
So, if you are on your way to Madrid or you are based in the capital, I absolutely recommend that you take a day trip to Toledo, it will surprise you and I believe that it is absolutely one of the most beautiful and fascinating Spanish cities to visit.
To reach the city you can easily take the train from Madrid and in just under an hour you will arrive in Toledo.
Council: I feel like giving you a great suggestion right away. To avoid going home with sore feet it is best to wear some comfortable shoes. Toledo is a continuous ups and downs and is full of cobblestones, going with flip-flops is therefore not a great idea if you are thinking about it.
The main part of the town is not far from the Puerta de Alcantara, the entrance door. In a few minutes on foot you get to Plaza Zocodover which is the main square.
This square, whose name derives from beast market, in the past it was the theater of inquisitions. Not far from the square on one side we have the Alcazar and always a few steps on foot you reach the Cathedral.
It almost seems that Toledo takes a short time to see. In reality this is not the case. The point is that Toledo seems small, but among all these internal street hills there is a lot of it and the various places where there are synagogues or other attractions are scattered throughout the city.
The first impact with Toledo must necessarily be the panoramic tour so you can realize how the city was built and above all you can then understand its history.
Toledo, what to see: Plaza Zocodover and the Alcazar
To see Toledo in complete tranquility I therefore recommend that you take the tourist bus, the ones that have the top open and allow you to take photographs. You can also take it directly at the station, unfortunately I can't tell you the price but know that it's worth it.
The city is almost completely enveloped by the Tajo River, which has been good and bad for the city. This was a city that was enough to besiege to be able to conquer it. On the other hand, in the position he was in he had no way of being able to refuel. As you can see during the panoramic tour, did not suffer great damage except the Alcazar which was a little more exposed.
Toledo, what to see: the Cathedral
Like any self-respecting visit, among the things to see in Toledo you cannot miss the Cathedral, and Toledo Cathedral is the queen of your visit. It is one of the most renowned and important Gothic cathedrals in all of Spain. Admission is subject to a fee. As soon as you enter you immediately notice that the naves are 5 instead of the classic 3 there are many works by artists such as Goya, El greco, Tiziano, Raffaello. If you want more historical information you can click HERE.
I want to try to tell you something more particular.
If you have the opportunity, buy the ticket to visit the Bell tower. An attendant will accompany you to the top passing in different points where you can take many panoramic photos, you will also see a good part of the Alcazar.
The steps that will take you to the top of the Bell tower they are spiral and rather narrow but they allow you to reach a magical place.
At the top of the bell tower of Toledo you will find in addition to the normal bells also the Campana Gorda so named for being giant. Well 14 tons who have only played once in their entire history. Yep, you have to know that this bell has a deep crack that was created in what I like to call its bell baptism. He hasn't played since.
Another peculiarity is the painting that occupies an entire wall close to the exit of the cathedral of Toledo. It is said that quickly entering the cathedral and making a sign of the cross in front of the painting of the Saint was a way to atone for one's sins. Let's say it was intended as a confession with a shortened formula. So much so that the painting was done just in part at the entrance / exit so that the gesture could be a rather quick thing.
Another peculiarity among the things to see in Toledo are the hats inside the cathedral. Here you can glimpse several red hats hanging. They are exactly above the tombs of the bishops, they leave themselves in that position to be ready when they come back to life.
Toledo, what to see: the Jewish quarter
Among the major attractions of Toledo there is certainly the Jewish quarter. Toledo is a city where there is a strong integration of many cultures. It is so now but it has been for centuries. Even after the Christian reconquest these cultures continued to influence the history of the city and the signs of the Muslim and Jewish civilizations are still present today.
The former Jewish ghetto inside it has important synagogues such as theAncient Synagogue of Santa Maria la Blanca and Synagogue of the Transito with the Sephardic Museum. In the Jewish quarter you can also find the Church of Santo Tomè famous for the painting that represents the "Burial of the Count of Orgaz" which in Spanish is "L'enterro del Conte Orgaz".
Toledo, what to see: Mezquita del Cristo de la Luz
If you visit Toledo you cannot miss this gem. It is about a very small mosque which our guide defined as paradise for archaeologists. Here all cultures are found one above the other in the true sense of the term. It is not known why this mosque was built on a Roman consular road, yet the road that passes under it is very visible.
Unfortunately, it remains impossible to understand where the road led because it would be unthinkable to dig under the whole city. The fact is that it is a mystery still unsolved. Speaking of mysteries, one cannot fail to mention the legend which is related to this mosque.
Legend has it that while entering the city on the day of the Christian reconquest, the horse of Alfonso VI stopped right near the mosque inside which there was a strong light. The interior is a mix of Christian frescoes and obviously Arabic-style decorations.
But your visit to Toledo should not be interrupted here, all the playful, culinary and handicraft parts are missing, so don't miss the next post on 4 things to do absolutely.
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