A walk through the old Toledo

“Successively a Roman municipium, the capital of the Visigothic Kingdom, a fortress of the Emirate of Cordoba, an outpost of the Christian kingdoms fighting the Moors and, in the 16th century, the temporary seat of supreme power under Charles V, Toledo is the repository of more than 2,000 years of history. Its masterpieces are the product of heterogeneous civilizations in an environment where the existence of three major religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam – was a major factor.”

I am afraid that Covetotop is not able to summarize the 2000 years of Toledoan history better than UNESCO does in the paragraph above (Toledo was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986)

The good news is that Covetotop is perfectly capable of taking a long walk through the mysterious streets of Toledo with his camera just for the sake of his little bunch of friendly readers.

So, friendly readers, follow me if you want to experience the Middle Ages at their best; but follow me in silence and be cautious … do you feel it? … there is something magic, mystical, inexplicable in Toledo streets …

Templar street

If you ever visit Toledo, follow my advice: do it alone. Travelling in group is ok if you are afraid of new places, of getting lost, of your own thoughts …

Toledo Spain

… but if you are a sensitive person, if you love Art and Medieval History, if you feel at home among dark legends and white phantoms … get lost in Toledo streets completely alone …

Toledo Spain

And if you like pastries made by angels, give a try to Toledo’s marzipan. You’ll find it in convents and monasteries. These days, nuns advertise their marzipan not only in Spanish … Globalization, you know what I mean …

convent

This is just a little selection of Toledoan pastries and marzipan …

Pastries from Toledo

Talking about angels, come on, follow me, don’t be afraid, this way please …

to the Cathedral

Only angels could build such an awesome cathedral like the Toledo Cathedral …

Toledo Cathedral

I am afraid I cannot publish here any picture of its interior. It is strictly forbidden taking pictures within the Cathedral.

Anyway, no digital picture could reflect the immense beauty and incredible details of the Cathedral and its museum (works by El Greco, Goya, Titian …)

The Cathedral’s main altar is a masterpiece of the Gothic Art; it was made thanks to the cooperation of some of the most brilliant architects, painters and sculptors of the so-called Dark Ages.

Another special feature is the “Transparente”. It is a Baroque madness several stories high: it incorporates several fantastic statues, paintings, bronze castings, and a vast array of marbles. The illumination seems a miracle in the morning Mass, when the sun shines from the East and the appropriately oriented skylight strikes directly the tabernacle. In such moment, the whole altar seems to be risen to Heaven by the hand of God.

If you feel a little confusion after such a magic moment, get out of the Cathedral as fast as you can without staring at its unearthly 750 stained glass windows from the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries …

Once you are again in the Toledo streets, walk, breath and wonder …

Jewish Quarter of Toledo

You will be stepping from one century to another, from a Jewish synagogue built in the 12th century …

Toledo Synagogue

… to a mosque built in the year 999 …

Mosque Toledo

… to a monastery like San Juan de los Reyes, built by the Catholic Monarchs (1477–1504)

San Juan de Reyes in Toledo

Fortunately for this blog, I was granted permission to take some pictures within the monastery’s walls. Here you have its beautiful cloister:

Cloister Toledo

… and some mysterious details …

mozárabe Art

Imperial Spain

Gothic Toledo

… and a charming garden …

monastery garden

Walking again in Toledo …

street of Toledo

The name of this millenary city has been adopted by other younger cities of the world: There are five “Toledo” in USA, there are “Toledo” in Canada, Belize, Brazil, Portugal, Colombia, Philippines, Uruguay …

By the way, the Spanish Toledo has dedicated one of its charming streets to one of its illustrious relatives: “Toledo of Ohio Street” …

Toledo Ohio Street

Oh my! I’m realizing that it is impossible to condense a simple walk through the old Toledo in just a single post. 2000 years of history will request at least another one …

See you soon!

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About Covetotop

A Mediterranean blogger
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15 Responses to A walk through the old Toledo

  1. lolabees says:

    I’ve definitely been lost in Toledo before. It’s the perfect city for that… so beautiful.

    • Covetotop says:

      Streets in Toledo were designed in the Middle Ages (or even earlier), and they haven’t changed very much since then. It is easy to get lost in them, but, as you say, it is the perfect city for that. Thanks for commenting, Lolabees!

  2. trishworth says:

    How lucky you were to be given permission to photograph the monastery cloister – so beautiful. I’m so glad I’ve seen these photos today.

    • Covetotop says:

      Yes, San Juan de Reyes cloister is very nice (and easy to photograph). But I am not happy with this post, as I couldn’t publish any pic of the Cathedral interiors; this place and its treasures are literally awesome. Anyway, I’m very glad you liked it, Trish.

  3. Some great photography in this set, Covetotop. Lovely…

  4. Taylor says:

    I LOVE TOLEDO! It’s such a beautiful city…I want to go back

  5. a ferreira says:

    The masonry patterns are absolutely fascinating! In every corner, in every wall, a different design!
    And there’s this curiosity I’ve kept about San Juan de los Reyes – those rows of chains hanging on the main façade, do you happen to know what they are (were) or what they stand for? I was really intrigued and could never find an explanation…

  6. harri8here says:

    Darn! I meant to visit Toledo when i was in Madrid, last autumn, but ran out of time.
    Mediaeval wonderland … and magnificent looking pastries ;).

    • Covetotop says:

      Don’t worry; time flies, but Toledo remains. Perhaps next time you’ll find the time to visit it before it flies (I mean the time flies, not Toledo) 😉

  7. Nice to know someone acknowledges Toledo, OH here. Toledo, Ohio chose Toledo, Spain as it’s first “Sister City”, the first in North America apparently.

    • Covetotop says:

      Spain’s Toledo is proud of his powerful American sister; “Toledo de Ohio Street” is located at the very center of the old Toledo. And this blogger is glad to receive a comment from a great furry artist. Thank you.

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