Exploring Toledo, Spain

Photo of Toledo with Cathedral in background

Toledo is a Spanish city with a rich history that blends Christian, Muslim and Jewish cultural influences through the centuries. Located in central Spain next to the Tagus river, the city was capital of the Visigoth-Catholic kingdom from 542 to 725 AD. This kingdom came into being after the fall of the Roman Empire. So this delightful city has been around for many centuries.

One of the city’s highlights is the massive cathedral, which can been seen from most parts of the city. It is known as the “Primate Cathedral of Spain.” If you go to the city, make sure to visit this church. Not only are there amazing architectural delights to admire inside the church itself. But it is also filled with many impressive oil paintings by El Greco and Caravaggio, among others.

Here are some photos I took of the cathedral for your viewing pleasure.

Part of the impressive choir loft
One of two organs in the choir loft
Room in the church that has paintings of the many archbishops of Toledo over the years

According to a guidebook I received when entering the cathedral, “Toledo and its Cathedral were for centuries the religious, political and cultural epicenter of the Iberian peninsula.” The church reached its golden age culmination when Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor, chose to install his court in Toledo in 1527, ruling from there for 34 years.

Here are photos from the Archbishop’s Sacristy, in the northwestern section of the cathedral.

Front and center in the sacristy is the famous painting by El Greco, The Disrobing of Christ
Here is a close up of the Disrobing of Christ, one of El Greco’s most famous works
Painting of Saint John the Baptist, by Caravaggio. This was displayed in the Cathedral

If you like El Greco, Toledo is a great city to visit because in addition to the Disrobing of Christ painting as well as many others displayed in the Cathedral, there is also an El Greco museum in town. We visited that too. Here are some photos from there.

Poster on display outside the museum
Portrait of Jesus by El Greco

I was more taken by the garden outside the museum than I was by the paintings inside. So here are a few photos of the lovely garden. There were very few people in the museum when we visited in late October. Indeed, we had the garden to ourselves for most of the time we spent there.

El Greco Museum garden
El Greco Museum garden
Gardens outside the Museum

One other place we stopped on our day of discovering Toledo was the Monastery of San Juan de los Reyes. This is just a short walk west of the El Greco museum. Both sites are in the western edge of the old part of town, in the Jewish quarter. Here are two photos from the monastery.

Few tourists at the monastery when we visited
The beautiful and peaceful grounds of the courtyard of the San Juan Monastery

Despite the pandemic, my hubby Rick, a British couple we traveled with, and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves in Toledo. We had to wear masks everywhere but we could still enjoy the sights because our eyes weren’t covered! There were very few tourists anywhere. That made it more fun for those of us who ventured out. However, it also means many businesses are suffering right now. In fact, I tried to find a nice restaurant to eat at to celebrate my girlfriend’s 65th birthday, but most of the well-reviewed places I found on Trip Advisor near our hotel had closed down. We ate dinner at our three-star hotel and it was nothing special. By contrast, the trip to Toledo was very special and I highly recommend you visit this amazing city if you have the chance.

12 thoughts on “Exploring Toledo, Spain

  1. It was our pleasure to travel with you and explore this history rich city. We did not let the weather dampen our enthusiasm and we crammed so much into our three day trip. The Sephardic Museum, the artisans at the convent showing us their gold wire art, statues, bronzes, monuments from across the centuries, the ancient gates in to the city and our navigation along steep cobbled narrow streets …….I could go on. Go visit! You won’t be disappointed. Superb photography guys.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. You got some wonderful pictures. Toledo is a great place. I was tempted to purchase a suit of armour but it would have been difficult to take home on the plane. Glad you had a good time.

    Liked by 1 person

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