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Toledo, Spain - attractions, pictures

 

Toledo is a town 70 km away south of Madrid with a population of about 70 thousand people, one of the main tourist centers of Spain.
The history of Toledo doesbegin  not even with the Romans, but with the Celtiberians, and even then there was its own fortress. After the Roman conquest, the city grew thanks to an open near iron deposit. With the Visigoths Toledo was already the capital of the kingdom. From 712 to 1085, the city under the rule of the Moors, and after the occupation of its troops by Christians, for a long time was practically on the Christian-Muslim border. Until Madrid was declared the capital (1561), Toledo remained one of the main cities of the kingdom (the capital as such was then not - where the king, there is the capital).
The whole city inside the city walls (and this is a large area) has been preserved in the form it was several centuries ago - there is not a single new house there. This attracts tourists, especially since it takes less than an hour to get here from Madrid.

 

 Toledo.

Toledo
Toledo

 

 Toledo.

  Toledo
Toledo

 

 Toledo. City Wall

City Wall
Muralles

The main gate is the Sagra, of Arab origin, as their name suggests, but under Charles V and Philip II they were completely rebuilt. It is interesting that all this monumental splendor is visible only from the outside, from the inside it is an ordinary arch. Perhaps this is the remainder of those same Arab gates?

 

 Toledo. Gate of the Sagra

 Gate of the Sagra
Puerta de Bisagra (XVI century)

 

 Toledo. Gate of the Sagra

  Gate of the Sagra
Puerta de Bisagra (XVI century)

 

It is interesting that the gate of the Sagra is not led to the city, but to a courtyard bounded by walls and the next gate, through which you can already get into the city.

 

 Toledo. Gate of the Sagra

  Gate of the Sagra
Puerta de Bisagra (XVI century)

 

 Toledo. Gate of the Sagra

Gate of the Sagra
Puerta de Bisagra (XVI century)

 

The solar gates were built in the XIV century, but before them there was also a gate in this place, from which the arch itself remained - clearly a Muslim configuration. In the XVI century on the frieze of the arch added a picture of the cathedral under the moon and the sun, which gave the name of the gate.

 

 Toledo. Solar Gates

Solar Gates
Puerta del Sol (XII-XIV century)

 

The Gates of Cambron are also built on the site of the old ones, moreover, those gates were the old ones themselves in the city - they were built even during Visigothic times. Now this structure in the characteristic monumental style of Philip II, neither from the Arab, nor, especially, the Visigoth gates, nothing remained.
Cambron, in honor of which the gate is called - a local shrub, which, probably, there was in abundance. Now on both sides of the gate is a continuous asphalt.

 

 Toledo. Gates of Cambron

 Gates of Cambron
Puerta del Cambron (XVI century)

 

 Toledo. Gates of Cambron

  Gates of Cambron
Puerta del Cambron (XVI century)

 

It's clear, these passages in the wall were not limited, but the rest is not too interesting - just arches. So, let's go directly to the city.


Church of St. Jacob Arrabal is considered the best example of Mudejar art in Toledo. First of all, the characteristic horseshoe-shaped outlines of doors and windows, as well as patterns on the facade, attract attention.
Arrabal is a term meaning "suburb". Since the church is located directly near the gate of the Sagra, probably its main visitors were those who lived outside the city wall.

 

 Toledo. Church of St. Jacob Arrabal

 Church of St. Jacob Arrabal
Iglesia de Santiago del Arrabal (XIII-XIV century)

 

 Toledo. Church of St. Jacob Arrabal
 Церковь св. Иакова Аррабаль
Iglesia de Santiago del Arrabal (XIII-XIV century)

 Toledo. Church of St. Jacob Arrabal
 Church of St. Jacob Arrabal
Iglesia de Santiago del Arrabal (XIII-XIV century)

 

Speaking of Arab architecture in Toledo, one can not fail to mention a tourist attraction with a somewhat ambiguous name - Mesquite of the Most-Beloved Christ. The ambiguity is that the "mesquite" in Spanish is a mosque. It was like a mosque that this building was built in 999, about which there is a Kufic inscription on the main facade.
This is almost a square structure based on four Visigothic columns, with 12 arches in the shape of a horseshoe.
In the 12th century, with the aim of adapting to Christian services, a semicircular apse was added, also in the Moorish style.

 

 Toledo. Mesquite of the Most-Beloved Christ

 Mesquite of the Most-Beloved Christ
Mezquita del Cristo de la Luz (XI-XII century)

 

 Toledo. Mesquite of the Most-Beloved Christ

 Mesquite of the Most-Beloved Christ
Mezquita del Cristo de la Luz (XI-XII century)

 

In general, such a clearly Moorish type of apse, very often found in the Toledo churches, many of them built several centuries after the expulsion of the Arabs. True, they could well have remained from previous buildings, as happened with the church of St. Vincent.
By the way, this church in the Middle Ages was surrounded by the houses of the Inquisition - here it was like the administrative center of this organization. Such a gloomy tourist attraction.

 

 Toledo. Church of St. Vincent

Church of St. Vincent
Iglesia de San Vicente (XIV-XVI century)

 

 Toledo. Church of St. Vincent

Church of St. Vincent
Iglesia de San Vicente (XIV-XVI century)

 

Inquisition institutions were located, probably in the surrounding monasteries, which in this place is concentrated abnormally much even for the Castilian city. About most of them, I can not say anything particularly interesting, so we will limit ourselves, mainly, to pictures.
A couple of comments, for understanding the names.
Royal called the monastery, for some reason, especially associated with the royal family - for example, one of them often stayed here, or buried in a church burial vault.
"Barefoot" or "shod" monks lived in a monastery, depended on the charter of a particular institution. This difference is emphasized when, within the same order, some monks gave a vow to walk always barefoot, and some did not give a vow and walked shod. Accordingly, there were, for example, the monasteries of "barefoot" Augustinian and "shod" Augustinian ".

 

 Toledo. The monastery of the "shod" Augustinians

 The monastery of the "shod" Augustinians
Convento de las Agustinas Calzadas (XV century) 

 

 Toledo. The Royal Monastery of St. Clara

The Royal Monastery of St. Clara
Convento de Santa Clara la Real (XIV-XVII century)

 

 Toledo. The Royal Monastery of St. Clara

 The Royal Monastery of St. Clara
Convento de Santa Clara la Real (XIV-XVII century)

 

 Toledo. Monastery of the Holy Spirit barefoot Carmelites

 Monastery of the Holy Spirit barefoot Carmelites
El convento del Espiritu Santo de los Carmelitas Descalzos (XVI-XVIII century)

 

 Toledo. Monastery of the Holy Spirit barefoot Carmelites

 Monastery of the Holy Spirit barefoot Carmelites
El convento del Espiritu Santo de los Carmelitas Descalzos (XVI-XVIII century)

 

 Toledo. The Royal Monastery of St. Dominic

The Royal Monastery of St. Dominic
Convento de Santo Domingo el Real (XIV-XVII century)

 

 Toledo. The Royal Monastery of St. Dominic

The Royal Monastery of St. Dominic
Convento de Santo Domingo el Real (XIV-XVII century)

 

Church of St. Ildefonso belongs to the Order of the Jesuits, but it is not like the usual Jesuit churches with baroque facades. Here it is something monumental, with a bias, rather, neoclassicism. Ildefonso is a "local" saint, in 657-667 he was Archbishop of Toledo.

 

 Toledo. Church of St. Ildefonso

 Church of St. Ildefonso
Iglesia de San Ildefonso o de los Jesuitas (XVIII century)

 

 Toledo. Church of St. Ildefonso

 Church of St. Ildefonso
Iglesia de San Ildefonso o de los Jesuitas (XVIII century)

 

Monasteries in Toledo are many, of varying degrees of preservation and, sometimes interesting not the monasteries themselves, but the buildings that belonged to them. For example, in the study of the former monastery of the Mother of God, cleared of the later layers of the characteristic Mudejar house, before the monastery times, clearly a civilian building.

 

 Toledo. The former monastery of Our Lady

 The former monastery of Our Lady
Antiguo Convento de la Madre de Dios (XIV-XVII century)

 

 Toledo. Monastery of St. Peter the Martyr

 Monastery of St. Peter the Martyr
Convento de San Pedro Martir (XV-XVII century)

 

 Toledo. Monastery of St. Ursula

 Monastery of St. Ursula
Convento de Santa Ursula (XIV-XVII century)

 

Cistercian monastery of St. Clement is famous for the fact that here, according to legend, mothers-nuns, for the first time in Toledo, established the production of marzipans. :)

 

 Toledo. Cistercian monastery of St. Clement

 Cistercian monastery of St. Clement
Convento de San Clemente (XIII-XVI century)

 

 Toledo. Cistercian monastery of St. Clement

Cistercian monastery of St. Clement
Convento de San Clemente (XIII-XVI century)

 

 Toledo. Monastery of St. Anthony of Padua

 Monastery of St. Anthony of Padua
Convento de San Antonio de Padua (XV-XVI century)

 

 Toledo. Monastery of St. Anthony of Padua

 Monastery of St. Anthony of Padua
Convento de San Antonio de Padua (XV-XVI century)

 

 Toledo. Monastery of St. Isabella

 Monastery of St. Isabella
Convento de Santa Isabel de los Reyes (XIII-XIV century)

 

 Toledo. Monastery of St. Isabella

  Monastery of St. Isabella
Convento de Santa Isabel de los Reyes (XIII-XIV century)

 

 Toledo. Monastery of St. Paul

 Monastery of St. Paul
Convento de San Pablo (XVII century)

 

 Toledo. Monastery of St. Paul

 Monastery of St. Paul
Convento de San Pablo (XVII century)

 

Monastery of St. John, was built specifically for the pantheon of Queen Isabella. The church and the building adjacent to it, which go out into the street, are only a small part of the monastery, its buildings stretch to the river itself. True, the church is so large that some cathedral could be placed in it. :) Unfortunately, during the war for Independence, the monastery was badly damaged, and the restoration in the XIX century conducted so that it is now impossible to understand where the original parts, and where the new building.

 

 Toledo. The Royal Monastery of St. John

 The Royal Monastery of St. John
Monasterio de San Juan de los Reyes (XV-XIX century)

 

 Toledo. The Royal Monastery of St. John

 The Royal Monastery of St. John
Monasterio de San Juan de los Reyes (XV-XIX century)

 

 Toledo. The Royal Monastery of St. John

 The Royal Monastery of St. John
Monasterio de San Juan de los Reyes (XV-XIX century)

 

The synagogue of St. Mary, of course, was not called that way, when she was a synagogue - the name of St. Maria wore a church, which was converted into a synagogue in the 15th century, after the expulsion of the Jews.

 

 Toledo. The synagogue of St. Mary

 The synagogue of St. Mary
Sinagoga de Santa Maria la Blanca (XIII-XVI century)

 

The Tower of St. Christopher - the only thing left of the medieval church of the same name. The design of the tower is clearly Arabic, this suggests that it existed before the construction of the church.

 

 Toledo. Tower of St. Christopher

 Tower of St. Christopher
Torre de San Cristobal (XII-XIII century)

 

Church of St. The Savior was changed from a mosque, and the mosque, in due time, was erected, using fragments of buildings of the Roman and Visigothic period. It is written that all these inclusions are visible inside (where I could not get :() - for example, the Visigothic arches and frescoes, with the faces of the saints stained in the Muslim period. In the 15th century the church was burning, which required reconstruction - in particular, the minaret was altered into Gothic bell tower.

 

 Toledo. Church of St. The Savior

 Church of St. The Savior
Iglesia del Salvador (XI-XV century)

 

 Toledo. Church of St. The Savior

 Church of St. The Savior
Iglesia del Salvador (XI-XV century)

 

 Toledo. Church of St. The Savior

 Church of St. The Savior
Iglesia del Salvador (XI-XV century)

 

The construction of the Toledo cathedral began in 1226 and continued until the 17th century, when the dome was erected. The cathedral is dedicated to St. Mary, but more often it is simply called the Main Cathedral, since here is the chair of Archbishop Toledo, traditionally the head of the church of Spain.

 

 Toledo. Cathedral of St. Mary

  Cathedral of St. Mary
Catedral Primada de Santa Maria (XIII-XVII century)

 

 Toledo. Cathedral of St. Mary

Cathedral of St. Mary
Catedral Primada de Santa Maria (XIII-XVII century)

 

Unlike most Castilian cities, Toledo's main square is called the City Hall Square, and the main building on it, respectively, is the City Hall.

 

 Toledo. City Hall Square

 City Hall Square
Plaza del Ayuntamiento

 Toledo.  City Hall Building

City Hall Building
Ayuntamiento (XVI century)

 

The hospital of St. Cross in Toledo was built on the initiative of Cardinal Mendoza in order to centralize assistance to the homeless, orphans, etc. Medieval hospitals, as a rule, were a small common room, dirty and uncomfortable. In the XV century physicians have already begun to be imbued with new ideas about the need for a successful treatment of spacious, well-ventilated solar rooms and hygiene. The architect tried to translate these ideas into reality and, although the building has many features of a medieval hospital (for example, small, incomprehensibly located windows), on the whole he succeeded.
Now here is a museum, more precisely three museums - an archaeological, art (with the largest collection of paintings by El Greco) and an industrial exhibit of local crafts. By the way, the Spanish artist El Greco - in fact, the Greek Domenikos Teotokopulos, and El Greco simply means "Greek." :)

 

 Toledo. The hospital of St. Cross

 The hospital of St. Cross
Hospital de Santa Cruz (XV century)

 

Another hospital was preserved outside the city walls. It was founded by Cardinal Tavera. The building is considered one of the first examples of classical Castilian architecture. Now here is also a museum exhibiting, in addition to the interior of the hospital and the hospital church, a collection of furniture and paintings.

 

 Toledo. Tavera Hospital

 Tavera Hospital
Hospital Tavera (XVI-XVII century) 

 

The Citadel in Toledo, though called by tradition Alcazar, has nothing to do with Arabs. The only thing that connects it with its predecessors is its location. This is the highest point of the city and here were located all the castles - from the Roman praetorium to the Muslim fortress. The present building was built on the order of Charles V, with the aim of having a decent monarch in the city, but, as such, was practically not used, because by the time of completion of construction, the capital was already Madrid.
In the premises of the castle there were a prison, barracks, workshops, etc. Now there are an army museum and a library.

 

 Toledo.  Alcázar Toledo

 Alcázar Toledo
Alcacar (XVII-XVIII century)

 

Church of St. Lukas, judging by the location of the walls, rebuilt from the mosque. As the population grew, the church expanded, in the XVII century. Including the nearby chapel of St. Maria Esperanza, which required a large-scale reconstruction of the entire complex.

 

 Toledo.  Church of St. Lukas

Church of St. Lukas
Iglesia de San Lucas (XII-XVII century)

 

 Toledo.  Church of St. Lukas

 Church of St. Lukas
Iglesia de San Lucas (XII-XVII century)

 

 Toledo.  Church of St. Lukas

 Church of St. Lukas
Iglesia de San Lucas (XII-XVII century)

 

Nearby is another Mozarabian church - St. Sebastian. The church here was already under the Visigoth (from it remained the capitals of the columns separating the naves). The tower has the structure of a typical minaret, that is, in the time of the Arabs it was a mosque.

 

 Toledo. Church of St. Sebastian

 Church of St. Sebastian
Iglesia de San Sebastian (X-XV century)

 

Between the city wall near the church of St. Sebastian and the Tahoe River preserved the ruins of Arab baths (one of six, available in the Muslim Toledo).
After the Christian conquest, the need for washing has disappeared :) and the baths have gradually collapsed.
About the lack of the need to keep the bath - this is not a joke, unfortunately. The Christian church disapproved of water procedures, and the Europeans almost did not wash. Known are the words of Philip II, who urged the Morrisks (Spaniards of Muslim origin), to refuse "besides every single non-Christian, from the greatest strangeness - to wash every day."

 

 Toledo. Arab Baths

 Arab Bathsaths
Banos Arabes de Tenerias (X century)

 

Church of St. Bartholomew is one of the first built after the reconquest. The three-level apide in the Mudejar style stands out.

 

 Toledo. Church of St. Bartholomew

 Church of St. Bartholomew
Iglesia de San Bartolome (XIII-XIV century)

 

 Toledo. Church of St. Bartholomew

 Church of St. Bartholomew
Iglesia de San Bartolome (XIII-XIV century)

 

The palace of King Pedro I is a characteristic example of what was considered a palace in medieval Castile. This is a simple rectangular building with a minimum of windows. As decorations - a small portal with modest emblems and wall decoration.

 

 Toledo. Palace of King Pedro I

 Palace of King Pedro I
Palacio del Rey don Pedro (XIV century)

 

Church of St. Andrew is considered an example of the evolution of architectural styles from the Romanesque to the neo-romantic. The fact is that the church, in general, was not reconstructed, but was completed, expanding, therefore, most of the previous structures remained untouched.

 

 Toledo. Церковь св. Андрея

 Church of St. Andrew
Iglesia de San Andres (XII-XVIII century)

 

 Toledo. View of Toledo neighborhood from the old town

View of Toledo neighborhood from the old town

 

 Toledo. View of Toledo neighborhood from the old town

View of Toledo neighborhood from the old town

 

Toledo fully justifies the reputation of one of the main attractions of Castile. This, of course, is an ideal variant of a one-day excursion from Madrid, but, in fact, to inspect the entire city in one day is completely unrealistic.
I can not help saying that there are problems with the availability of information - the plaques on the buildings contain, most often, only the name, and even then, sometimes badly damaged. On the tourist map, not everything that is of interest is noted. Considering that I watched roughly the same thing in another large tourist city - Salamanca, I think whether there is a regularity here - the more tourists, the less they are taken care of, they will still come... In general, if you are going to Toledo, prepare in advance, not relying on the local tourist service.

 

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Tourist map of attractions Toledo
Tourist map of attractions Toledo

 



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