In one of the earlier travelogues about Spain, I mentioned that my partner and I try to visit at least once a year Spain. I’m still practicing that this is for balance in our lives.
Seventy kilometers from Madrid is located in the ancient capital, the center of medieval Spain (former Kingdom of Castile) – Toledo.
It is a city with excellent location, situated on a hill and surrounded by the river Tajo (Tagus). The river flows in large part of the Iberian Peninsula. It is the same river Tagus that you saw (if you were) to Lisbon empties into the Atlantic Ocean. Toledo is considered one of the most typical, old cities of Spain. It is dangerous medieval walls, with a beautiful entrance gates to the city. When you approach him and see him before you, you will realize the importance of which in the Middle Ages had its geographical position.
We are from Madrid to Toledo arrived by bus (about an hour if you go direct, the express line), there is an option by train, but it is two and a half times more expensive. From the station to the walls of the old Toledo has about 10 to 15 minutes of climbing on foot or by bus about five minutes.
The scene that will meet you at the old stone houses, a mixture of Arabic and Gothic styles (mudejar style). We go a tour of the narrow streets of Toledo, lots of street in a small town . No, I will not tell you that you will lose every minute. Simply, ability to cope with only those who live in Toledo and know him well.
Toledo once had three cultures, Christians, Muslims (Moors) and Jews. That is why today you can see the difference as you walk out and you will be in what part of town you are in. All religions have lived in peace, you still the possibility that in such a small area you can see the combination of Renaissance churches, synagogues and mosques.
Given the fact that we always forge and make swords in Toledo we came across a large number of shops where they can buy today. You will find them from all periods, starting with the Templars, the crusading and chivalry. Souvenir so specific to this city.
In these same actions, you can shop and complete suit of knightly armor, medieval shields with crests, a true knight maces and other equipment.
If you are a passionate lover of art, do not miss the Museum of El Greco (painter earned his nickname in Toledo), where they are exposed to his work. Also, the cathedral in the 13th century also preserves canvases of famous European painters El Greco, Titian, Rubens, Zurbaran, Caravaggio and others.
If your travels take you in Toledo, do not miss to walk up to the highest part of the city where the Alcazar palace, rebuilt 1535.
Zocodover Square (where there is a statue of Cervantes) is the most important and most vibrant market in this city. Here everything begins and everything ends. It is always hustle and bustle. Around him are the taverns where we are sit down and made a plan. Conquering a nearby hill where the beautiful lookout and the most beautiful view of the city.
Although it was my idea and a desire to perpetuate the image of the city from the hill across the river, most of the routes for climbing lament, twice we were bathed spring downpour and finally I slipped and slid literally upside down. But it was worth it. Judge for yourself.
In 1565, King Philip II of Spain moved the capital of Spain in Madrid. Toledo a few years after that remains a little fortified village that loses the title of capital. Now, under the protection of UNESCO, has been preserved just the way it used to look (at least so they say) but still has a distinctive flavor. Empty streets back to some ancient, forgotten time …
Toledo is a city of swords, old painter and new people. As frozen in Cervantes story, the city past that overwhelmed the people of the future. Antique and modern. Rocky, a gentle. Small and big hearts. Toledo for romantics, adventurers, for those who love history, for those who will only love.
By: Ivana Kovačević