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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.