24 Hours in Toledo
There’s a famous Spanish saying that goes ‘Until you’ve seen Toledo, you have not seen Spain’, Toledo is certainly a place that will leave an impression. This UNESCO heritage site in Spain is just 30 minutes from Madrid and is certainly worth 24 hours. The city of Toledo was the capital of Spain until 1560 when Felipe II moved the court to Madrid. Its long history and cobbled lanes with architectural greatness make for a pleasant an interesting day of historical discovery that will bring you from Roman times to the Modern era.
Must-sees in Toledo
Go to the Cathedral of Toledo:
Toledo has a wonderful, grand cathedral, built in the Gothic style and considered one of the greatest Gothic structures in the whole of Europe. The colossal Gothic Cathedral is filled with relics, artefacts and beautiful murals. The building originally erected in this location, in the VI century, was a Visigoth church then turned into a Mosque and took the shape we now see only in 1227.
Open Monday to Saturday 10h – 18h30 / Public Holidays and Sundays 14h – 18h30, €7 entry, tel.: (+34) 925 222 241, www.catedralprimada.es
Visit the Synagogue
Toledo is famous for the influences of the “three cultures” Muslims, Jews, and Christians all lived peacefully together in Toledo and the architecture reflects the influences of those cultures. The El Transito Synagogue and Museum is one of the oldest and best conserved sites of its kind.
Appreciate the ancient walls
Visit the 9th century Puerta Vieja de Bisagra, the only remaining part of the original Moorish city walls. Before Madrid became the capital of Spain in 1561, the Spanish kings and queens ruled from Toledo. The city was bustling with thousands of people and, in order to protect them, a series of walls were built around the city for defence.
Head to the Alcazar Fortress
High up on a hill, a great place to stop for panoramic views of the city. It dates back to Roman times (III century A.D.). Over the course of the centuries, the Alcazar worked as a palace and a fortress and was at the centre historically significant sieges: latest and most famous is the one that happened in 1936, during the Spanish civil war. Nowadays it works as an interesting museum of the armed forces.
Calle Unión, €5 entry / FREE Sunday, tel. (+34) 925 238 800, www.museo.ejercito.es
Walk the Alcantara Bridge
Originally built by the Romans, the Alcantara bridge is one of the entrances to the city of Toledo. It crosses the river Tejo (the longest river in the Hiberica peninsula, it goes all the way to Lisbon!). The bridge and the river can be reached on foot from the city centre, following the ancient steps climbing down the hill slope and it is a vantage point for a view of the city.
Marvel at the swords
Toledo is famous for making the best swords in Europe and was once known for its unusually hard steel, known as Toledo Steel, especially for its excellent sword-making quality. The city has been a steel-working centre since 500 BC and rumour has it that Toledo was where the Roman legions got the steel for their weapons. You can check out the novelty swords that are sold throughout the city.
July 18, 2018
March 23, 2018
October 12, 2017