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Overview

The steep, winding and narrow lanes of this historic city in central Spain are filled with discoveries for the traveler who wanders here, and even with a city map, prepare to get hopelessly lost among them. Its history is a tempestuous one, with stories of violence in its Alcazar at every era, from the massacre of thousands by the Moorish kings in 807 to its significance as the last stronghold of nearly 2000 Nationalists during the Spanish Civil War. The Gothic cathedral, one of the largest in the world, towers above the city. Among its considerable treasures are the high altar, the bejeweled 16th century silver and gold monstrance, the ...

The steep, winding and narrow lanes of this historic city in central Spain are filled with discoveries for the traveler who wanders here, and even with a city map, prepare to get hopelessly lost among them. Its history is a tempestuous one, with stories of violence in its Alcazar at every era, from the massacre of thousands by the Moorish kings in 807 to its significance as the last stronghold of nearly 2000 Nationalists during the Spanish Civil War. The Gothic cathedral, one of the largest in the world, towers above the city. Among its considerable treasures are the high altar, the bejeweled 16th century silver and gold monstrance, the carved wooden choir stalls and the sacristy, containing paintings by El Greco, Titian, Van Dyck and Goya. El Greco, whose moody painting of the city is its best-recognized image, is represented also in the Church of San Tomé, where his masterpiece The Burial of the Lord of Orgaz can be seen. More than a dozen more are in the Hospital de Tavera, now a museum that also contains an El Greco altar. Toledo was home to a major Jewish population and has two remaining of its original eight synagogues. The 14th-century Sinagogo El Transito has a magnificent Hebraic-Mudejar interior and a museum of Spanish Judaism, while the older Santa Maria La Blanca, founded in 1203, is larger and even more elaborate.

Barbara Rogers
About the Expert

Barbara Radcliffe Rogers has written or coauthored more than 30 guidebooks, including The Portugal Traveler, Drive Around Portugal, City Spots Munich, City Spots Helsinki, City Spots Stockholm, Eating New England, and the Maine section of Thomas Cook's Independent Traveller USA.

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Barbara Rogers for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Located in central Spain 70km south of Madrid. Toledo is the capital of the province of Toledo.
  • Language: Spanish
  • Currency: Euro
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Packed with tourists in summer and bitter cold in winter, the best times to visit are spring and fall.