Holy Toledo!—Attractions in Spain’s Former Capital

Toledo from afar / Toledo desde lejos

The Alcázar, as seen from afar

Toledo entrance / Entrando en Toledo

Walking up one of Toledo’s many hills to the city entrance

Flowering trees Toledo / Árbol floreciendo Toledo

Trees are beginning to bloom

Cristo de la Luz Museum Toledo / Museo de Cristo de la Luz

Mosque of Cristo de la Luz

Santa Cruz Museum Toledo / Museo de Santa Cruz Toledo

Museo de Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz Museum Toledo / Museo de Santa Cruz Toledo

Toledo Cathedral / Catedral de Toledo

Toledo Cathedral / Catedral de Toledo

Iglesia de San Ildefonso (Los Jesuitas)

San Ildefonso Church / Iglesia de San Ildefonos (Los Jesuitas)

From San Ildefonso’s mirador de las Torres, one can see all of Toledo.

Alcázar de Toledo noche / Toledo Alcázar night

Toledo Alcazar / Alcázar de Toledo

Located at the highest point in Toledo and once used as a Roman palace, the alcázar was held by the Nationalists under great siege by the Republican army. Today it is the site of the Army Museum.

San Juan de los Reyes Musem Toledo / Museo de San Juan de los Reyes Toledo

San Juan de los Reyes Musem Toledo / Museo de San Juan de los Reyes Toledo

Have you heard of Los Reyes Católicos? If not, you must not have visited many places in Spain, because they are everywhere. The Catholic monarchs, Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile, are often credited with the unification of Spain after the Reconquista.

Isabella and Ferdinand built this monastery to celebrate the birth of their son and their victory in an important battle. It was initially meant to be their eventual mausoleum, but they changed their mind and were later buried in Granada.

Tanto monta, monta tanto

Tanto monta, monta tanto, the Catholic monarchs’ motto

Of course, Isabella and Ferdinand had a motto: Tanto monta, monta tanto, Isabel como Fernando. What it means: Isabella and Ferdinand were equals. All along the ceilings in San Juan de los Reyes, you can find their initials (F for Fernando and Y for Isabel, as Y was used in the old Spanish).

San Juan de los Reyes

San Juan de los Reyes

Tagus River Toledo / El Río Tajo Toledo

Tagus River Toledo / El Río Tajo Toledo

The Tagus River is the longest in the Iberian peninsula, beginning in central Spain and emptying into the Atlantic ocean near Lisbon, Portugal. Its impact can be heard in Portuguese songs and stories: “My hair getting white, the Tagus is always young.”

Kaley Mucho Más Toledo

Toledo will always have a special place in my heart. I studied abroad there as a 21-year-old junior in college, and its narrow streets hold a mystique that hasn’t been diminished by the years. I still love wandering in and out of shops, catching a glimpse of the Middle Ages or the Renaissance or the Gothic. I love hearing the cathedral bells chimes, eating marzipan, and wondering at the beauty of a city quite unchanged by the passage of time.

4 comments

  1. I love Toledo so much that I now have TOLEDO tattooed on the inside of both of my wrists, in Hebrew and in Arabic. Ciudad de las tres culturaaaas! Did you see it on my Facebook? Haha

  2. I love Toledo so much that I have the word ‘Toledo’ tattooed on the inside of both of my wrists – in Hebrew and in Arabic! Ciudad de las tres culturas! I didn’t want to do it in English because I knew I’d have people asking if I am from Toledo, Ohio and I don’t want to be a homicidal maniac when I go back to the States. ;)

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