Toledo, Spain

Stop #16:

We started our trip to Toledo in Castile– La Mancha, the land of Don Quixote.  You will see the windmills in the photos below.  In Toledo, everything seems to be about El Greco’s paintings.  But driving into Toledo is a wonderful experience, with views of the walls, fortress, churches visible for miles.

Toledo sits on a rocky mount with steep hills, and is surrounded on three sides by the Tagus River. The original Alcázar dates from 192 BC and was built by the Romans.  It has been updated since then by the Visigoths and the Moors.

Highlights include:

  • Alcázar- with four columns and visible in many photos below.
  • Cathedral – Most of the building dates to the early 15th century; it features a depiction of Mary presenting her robe to Ildefonsus, Toledo’s patron saint, archbishop of the city in the 7th century. This Cathedral was inspired by Chartres and other Gothic cathedrals in France.  In the middle of the ambulatory is an exemplary baroque “illusionism” by Narciso Tomé known as the Transparente, a blend of painting, stucco, and sculpture. The Cathedral has several El Grecos.
  • Puente de Alcántara. Roman in origin, this is the city’s oldest bridge. Next to it is a heavily restored castle built after the Christian capture of 1085 . We took many photos from the other side of this bridge.
  • Puente de San Martín. This pedestrian bridge on the western side of Toledo is where we took some of the night photos.

Thanks to Fodor’s Travel Guides, Trip Advisor, and Wikipedia for the great lessons that helped me to plan and summarize this trip.

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