Top things to do in Toledo

Toledo Points of interest

Catedral Primada (Toledo Cathedral):

The architectural structure has been used as a temple for centuries but existed as a church from 19th century. In the 6th century, it was a church under Visigoth King Recaredo, which was later a Muslim mosque and a temple, and then again a church. At present, you would get to see five names as you get inside. The lovely roof is supported by 88 columns, and there are remains of polychromatic glass windows, from the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries. The prime attraction is the altarpiece which depicts scenes from New Testament, and also has life-sized polychromatic sculptures created with gilded wood. There is also has an impressive choir, which is considered as one of the best in all Christendom. Exploring the site intricately would take you about 2 hours of time!

Monasterio de San Juan de Los Reyes (Monastery of San Juan de Los Reyes):

This monastery was established by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, to celebrate their victory over Portuguese at Toro. The battle was over by 1476 and the establishment started a year later. The famous architect Juan Guas had played his ideas, and the church was completed by 1504. It had been dedicated to St. John the Evangelist and the splendid work of the cloisters is what people come to awe at! This entire architecture reflects a mixture of Gothic, Spanish and Flemish styles. The monastery had to be restored after Napoleon’s invasion and post abandonment in 1835.

Sinagoga ‘El Transito’ (Synagogue of El Transito):

This was once a prominent house of worship for the large Jewish population at Toledo. This 14th-century building reflects the fine arts of Spanish and Jews. The superb stucco Hebrew inscriptions are prime attraction inside. The exterior area is a rectangular synagogue and it is made of cream-colored stones and bricks. The façade faces the street and is pierced by seven circular windows. They are further enhanced with wooden balconies and blind arcades. The main prayer hall inside is made with Mudéjar decoration along with the Hebrew inscriptions which glorify God. The Sephardic Museum joins the main hall and exhibits remains of Jewish art, tombstones, ritual objects, Hebrew epitaphs, etc.

Iglesia de Santo Tome (Santo Tomé Church):

The famous Mudéjar tower named Santo Tome dates back to the 14th century. The top-most section on the tower has three arched bells on each side, and the next section includes two. It is known to house the best paintings of El Greco, out of which the most attractive is ‘The Burial of Count Orgaz’. The painting holds a spine-chilling story, which should be explored as you get there. The church exists from the 12th century and was later rebuilt in the 14th. The tower gracefully reflects Mudéjar art.

Museo Greco (El Greco Museum):

This is a museum which boasts of an extensive collection of paintings by El Greco, the artist of the Spanish in Golden Age. This had been opened in 1911, and the museum is located in the Jewish Quarter. There are two buildings, one remains from the 16th century and one was built in the 20th century. Both of them have a garden in-between. The museum homes painting of El Greco which will leave you mesmerised. The art lovers must not miss out on this site, no matter how short their visit is!

The Alcazar Fortress:

The construction of this architecture dates back to the Roman Times, but it currently homes the Army Museum of the city. This had been rebuilt when Alfonso VI and Alfonso X ‘the Wise’ were in power. This was also the first example of a square fortress with the introduction of towers and corners. It was later reconstructed during Emperor Charles V with the help of architect Alonso de Covarrubias. As you enter the premises, you will notice the beauty of Renaissance styles. The army museum will reflect the recent successes and struggles of the city’s army and will let you learn a little more about them.

Iglesia de San Ildefonso (San Ildefonso Church):

The church of San Ildefonso is situated in the old town and happens to get into your list as you visit the area anyway. It the highest part of the area and provides the most spectacular views. The church was modelled after Jesuit churches of Palencia, church of the Gesù in Rome and Alcala de Henares. The construction had started from 1629 and it still boasts of the richness that has remained over the centuries.

Mirador del Valle:

Coming to Toledo will for once tempt you to get to Mirador Del Valle! It is that part of a valley where you get to see the city in the best possible way. The city looks beautiful from the valley, which borders the edge of the River Tagus. You see the roofs of the medieval houses, churches and other monumental structures. The Alzacar stands out of the crowd and you might capture moments that will be in your mind forever. People love to come here early morning and spend half the day. But, if they manage to stay till the eve, they see the Alzacar all lit up. This view as absolutely inexplicable!

Plaza Zocodover and Calle Comercio (Zocodover Square and Commercial Street):

This is the most famous square of Toledo. It is flanked by cafes and is amazing to socialise with locals. From 1465 to 1960’s, the square was famous to be a livestock market, which was open only on Tuesdays. This is also how the name is derived as well. This is also why the people in Toledo have enjoyed public gatherings and that reflects through this square till today. The place currently gives the best glimpse of city life, and you should take some time to sip some coffee here. Continue to the Calle Comercio, which is located on a connecting street, to do your Toledo shopping. This is the best place where the local buys their necessary and luxury products, and you’d love to splurge on some souvenirs.

Puente de San Martin (San Martín Bridge):

Puente de San Martín is a medieval bridge built across River Tagus. The bridge was built during the late 14th century by the Archbishop Pedro Tenorio. This then provided access to west from old town, which further contemplated older Puente de Alcántara towards the east. The bridge was continued with heavy fortification on both sides. The most recent ones date back to 16th century! Puente de San Martin includes five arches, with the biggest one in the middle. It is quite an alluring site to look through.

Puerta Nueva de la Bisagra (The New Bisagra Gate):

This site originates from the Arabic times, which was later rebuilt by Alonso de Covarrubias. It preserves the Renaissance style from the 16th century and has two distinctive sides to it. The side which faces the city opens with a semicircular arch and is flanked by two square towers and decorated roofs. The outer side also has an arch, which beats the coat of arms of the city. This arch is flanked by two round towers.

Puente de Alcantara (Alcantara Bridge):

Romans had established numerous bridges, but none of them were as perfect as this! This is another bridge which goes over the Tagus. There is an inscription in the bridge which translates that the bridge will last until the end of the world. It had been built during the 104 and 106 when the Trajan was in reign. The arch was dedicated to the person who proudly stood over half of the bridge, and there are various stories revolving around it. People believe that Gaius Julius Lacer had built it and the folklore continues. It is one of the oldest establishments you will ever have come across!

Muralla de Toledo:

This is the wall and the watchtowers of the city, which was created as defence architecture by the Arabs. The Alfonso VI Gate is the only one that still remains from the era. This used to be the main entrance to the city. The Muslim origin had created this in the 9th century and it still happens to be a prime attraction for the tourists.

Juderia (Jewish Quarter):

The charming and tangled streets that lead to the Jewish quarters let the people get back to the Middle Ages. People should watch the Sephardic Museum and listen to the guides, as they tell them the stories of legends. Discovering some customs of the Sephardic Jews will be quite a delightful venture too.

Mesquita del Cristo de la Luz (Cristo de la Luz Mosque):

This is the last remain often mosques which had been built during the Moorish period. It was named as Mezquita Bab-al-Marcum, which also related to the name of the city gate, Bab al-Marcum. The site is located near Puerta del Sol. This area was once the Medina of the Muslims and had several residences which they had occupied. This is the best architecture in Toledo, to provide you with Moorish architecture magnificence.

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