One Day In Toledo
Toledo, just a 60 minutes drive from Madrid, is an outstanding World Heritage city with a rich patrimony inherited from the three main cultures that lived there in the past: Jews, Muslims and Christians. Here, you will find mosques standing side by side with Catholic churches, as well as some splendid synagogues.
The Roman Walls and The Alcantara Bridge
Toledo’s old walls reflect its notable history. The Romans where the first to build walls after capturing the city in 192 AD. This old Roman bridge used to be the only entry to the city for pilgrims. Walking on the Alcantara bridge will make you feel like a knight contemplating the city.
Just to show the clashes of cultures in Toledo, the cathedral was founded in the VI Century by San Eugenio, the first bishop of Toledo, but during the Muslim invasion it was turned into a mosque. After Toledo was reconquered by Alfonso VI, it became the cathedral we can admire today. It features five naves supported by 88 huge pillars and a magnificent altarpiece in the Major Chapel.
The Alcazar’s construction dates from Roman times but it was rebuilt during the time of Alfonso VI and Alfonso X and became the first example of a square fortress with towers on the corners. The building was severely damaged during the Spanish Civil War. After the war, it was rebuilt and now houses the Castilla-La Mancha Regional Library and the Army Museum.
San Juan De Los Reyes Monastery
The monastery was commissioned by the Catholic Monarchs to celebrate the birth of their son Prince John and the political victory over the Moors. On the exterior facade you can still see the chains of Christians freed from Moorish captivity. The interior is a combination of late Gothic-style on the bottom floor and Mudejar design on the top floor.
Santa Maria Synagogue
The synagogue was built in 1180, and stands on the outskirts of Toledo. It is the oldest synagogue still standing in Europe. It was turned into a church in the early 1400s and then returned to the Jewish community in 2013. You will be amazed by the intricate columns beneath the horseshoe arches and the beautiful geometric mosaics on the floor.