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Toledo: the unmissable city

Toledo

Nothing compares to Toledo. The poet Rainer Maria Rilke wrote that “if you abandon your influence, you would reach a level of representation of the suprasensible where you would see things with ...
83
10km
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Hospital Tavera
0.7km
Puerta de Bisagra
0.4km
Cristo de la Luz
0.6km
Plaza de Zocodover
0.6km
Alcázar
4.4km
Catedral
1.5km
Santo Tomé
0.2km
Monasterio de San Juan de los Reyes
0.4km
Museo Sefardí
0.2km
Sinagoga de Santa María la Blanca
0.5km
Puente de San Martín
0.3km
Museo del Greco

Nothing compares to Toledo. The poet Rainer Maria Rilke wrote that “if you abandon your influence, you would reach a level of representation of the suprasensible where you would see things with abnormal intensity, which rarely occurs during the day: the intensity of an appearance.”

Toledo sums up the history of Spain and the world. It is a legendary city with Roman, Visigoth, Arabic and Christian influences. We are in one of the largest historic centres in the world, and one with some of the richest and most charming heritage on display.

Visiting Toledo in a day is impossible. The city of the three cultures means you have to go back to understand it a little bit more. It never disappoints. There are always corners that surprise us and take our breath away. However, we can recommend some unique places you shouldn’t miss, which will delight all travellers.

The Bisagra Gate is the most monumental gate in the city. The Santiago del Arrabal church is next to it –zenith of Mudejar architecture– and the Tavera Hospital isn’t far away –with its patios, small museum, church and a magical visit to the crypt–. The walk up to the crag the old town of Toledo is built atop takes in the Christ of the Light mosque, with over 1,000 years of history, and the Puerta del Sol (Sun Gate) is very close by.

Zocodover square –the former animal market– is the nerve centre of the city. From here, we can visit the Santa Cruz and Alcázar museums, headquarters of the Army Museum and the Regional Library. The latter is highly recommended. You can have a coffee in the café located in one of the building’s towers, with an impressive view of the city and the surrounding area.

Our next, unmissable stop: the Cathedral. The temple is a world unto itself. You need to get lost in its naves and chapels. Its artistic richness is only surpassed by St. Peter’s in Rome. The sacristy –with its exceptional collection of paintings–, the treasure or the chapter house will impress everyone, and going up the large bell tower (‘Campana Gorda’) offers stunning views.

The route takes us into the Jewish quarter. The alleys, small squares and lookout points over the Tajo river –such as on the San Cristóbal walk, the Tránsito or Virgen de Gracia ones– come together to reach the Santo Tomé church, home to The Burial of the Count of Orgaz by El Greco. The Museum for the incredible Cretan painter opens its doors into a mansion recreating the architecture and decoration from the painter’s time. The Sephardic Museum is on the other side of the street –in the Tránsito or Samuel Leví synagogue–, with the Santa María la Blanca synagogue nearby. The unbeatable artistic offering is completed by the monastery of San Juan de los Reyes and its stunning cloister.

A tip: walk quietly around the city’s labyrinthine layout, and avoid the busier areas. Around every corner lies lost squares, impossible alleyways, parapet walks and large sheds. A wander allows us to discover palaces –such as the Moorish Workshop–, doorways belonging to the homes of the nobility, hidden churches or convents –some can still be visited– such as the Santo Domingo el Antiguo convent, with the remains supposedly of El Greco and his first Spanish paintings; those of St. Peter Martyr and Mother of God, with its cloisters of Treasure and the Generals, and the convent church; or of Santa Clara.

A trip to Toledo wouldn’t be complete without going to the Valley lookout point, in the Cigarrales area, offering a comprehensive view of the city with the meander drawn by the Tajo river below. Nature lovers can also hike the ecological trail running along the river banks or glide over the waters using the longest zipline in Europe located next to the San Martín bridge.

Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer wrote: “In the name of poets and artists, in the name of those who dream and those who study, it is forbidden for every civilization to touch any of these bricks with its prosaic devastating hand.” Don’t miss this city!

Tourist office
Oficina De Información Turística Regional (Casa Del Mapa)
Plaza Zocodover, 8
Toledo
925 267 666
Oficina de Turismo Bisagra
Paseo de Merchan, s/n
45003 Toledo
925 211 005
Oficina de Turismo de Toledo (Ayuntamiento)
Plaza del Consistorio, 1
45071 Toledo
925 265 419
Oficina de Turismo de Toledo “Estación Ferrocarril (AVE)”
Paseo de la Rosa, s/n
45006 Toledo
925 239 121
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