Cathedral of Toledo
Having learned my lesson about unpredictable visiting hours in other Spanish cities, I decided our first order of business would be to see the Cathedral. It’s a good thing we did, because after 6 pm on our first day the Cathedral was closed to tourists, the entirety of our visit, in observance of The Ascension of Mary.
Located in Ayuntamiento Plaza, according to our guide, The Cathedral of Saint Mary of Toledo is the second largest cathedral in Spain and the most important. The tower of the Cathedral is 301 feet tall and can be seen from almost anywhere in the city. The inside spaces are incredibly beautiful, and this is definitely not a case of “you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all.” Photos aren’t really allowed, but I did sneak a few, I just couldn’t help it!
The Jewish Quarter
The Jewish Quarter in Toledo is a popular tourist destination. You can’t miss it because it is very clearly marked with signs and tiles inlaid into the walls and streets surrounding it. At night there are images in Spanish, English and Hebrew projected onto the streets letting you know you’ve arrived.
Today, there are no operational synagogues within the walls of the old Medieval City. However there are two former synagogues and a mosque which are available to visit, all three of which are now designated as museums.
Synagogue of El Transito
Santa María la Blanca
Santa María la Blanca, also a museum and former synagogue, was built in 1180 some believe it to be the oldest synagogue building in Europe which is still standing. It is now owned and preserved by the Catholic Church.
While in Toledo we stayed in the Jewish quarter at the Hotel Pintor El Greco. The hotel and location were great, only steps from the El Greco Museum and within easy walking distance of both synagogues, The Burial of the Count of Orgaz, one of El Greco’s most famous works and many other sights.
Other Major Sights
Mezquita Cristo de la Luz
Puerto Del Sol
Monasterio de San Juan De Los Reyes
Unfortunately we were unable to visit the inside due to a wedding taking place, but we were able to walk through the cloisters and other areas of the monastery. The exterior of the monastery, per the Queen’s order, is covered in manacles and shackles worn by christian prisoners from Granada who were released during the Reconquista.
Iglesia De Los Jesuitas
Cortes De Castilla-La Mancha
What Else is Toledo Famous For?
Toledo is not only known for its religious history, but also for its weapon and armor production, Damasquinado jewelry, marzipan and of course it’s amazing Spanish cuisine.
All of us were fascinated not only by the amazing craftsmanship and variety of different swords, weaponry, metalware and jewelry available, but also by the sheer number of stores selling it! They were everywhere and I personally spent a lot of time admiring the handmade jewelry and even picked up a few things. Of course I did!
Hiring A Guide
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