A VISIT TO TOLEDO

October 26, 2009


During our visit to Madrid this past September, my wife and I decided to take a side trip to Toledo.  I had done graduate work several years ago that involved research on the painter El Greco, a citizen of Toledo.    I became fascinated with his rendition of Toledo’s “angry skyline” so a one-day trip, while in the area, was a must.   We discovered a city aptly named “El Ciudad Imperial”; truly, a beautiful beautiful little city in the heart of the Spanish plaines.  It lies approximately 70 kilometers south of Madrid; easily accessible by bullet train for the small price of €15.00 per person.  The city itself is home to approximately 76,000 inhabitants and encompasses an area of 90 square miles.  It is located on the Tagus River at an elevation of 2,034 feet amid undulating plaines, olive groves, wheat fields, grape vines and an assortment of fruits and vegetables grown by most of the population.  An example of the landscape is shown by the picture below. 

Olive Trees and Countryside

Olive Trees and Countryside

As you can see, rolling country side with olive groves punctuating the landscape.

It is said that to understand Toledo is to understand Spain itself.  The city has been and is a melting pot of ideas and a meeting place for many different cultures; namely Christian, Jewish and Moorish.  At one time it was the capital of Spain with history going back at least 2,000 years.  Toledo was mentioned by the Roman historian Titus Livius in the journal he provided for the Roman magistrate Marcus Fluvius.  The city is a magnificant “assembly” of old and new with winding streets, shops in cubby-holes no bigger than a closet, majestic castles, a richly decorated cachedral and a gallery of art showing the major artists who lived and worked in the city.  Several “street scenes” are given as follows:

Street Scene

Street Scene

Street Scene

Street Scene

The skyline is indeed magnificent with two very important buildings; the Alcazar Palace and the San Juan de los Reyes Cathedral.  Both may be seen in the picture below.  The palace is in the foreground and the cathedral in the background.

Toledo Skyline(5)

Toledo Skyline

The art museum is located in the cathedral, as well as the fascinating “Room of Ornaments and Robes”; artifacts of the Catholic Church from ages past.

The river provides the life-blood to the city and all of the water is derived from that source. 

River and Countryside

River and Countryside

I also will mention now that Toledo is known for Manchego cheese.  Apparently word famous and absolutely delicious.   Served with just about every meal, including breakfast.  I do recommend you check this one out. We had two meals there, breakfast and a very late lunch and I can certainly state that they do take care of the turisticas. 

Another business that flourishes in this small city, is the multi-colored ceramics.  These are generally for local consumption and tourists although shipments to distributors to make their way to other parts of the world.

Ceramics

Ceramics

All in all, it was a fascinating day and one that will go in the personal “archives” as been one of the most delightful we have spent in quite some time.  I definitely do recommend that, when in Spain, check out Toledo.

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4 Responses to “A VISIT TO TOLEDO”


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    • cielotech Says:

      Hello New Kiton–Toledo certainly is one of the most fascinating places my wife and I have ever visited. I definitely would recommend the trip for you. Many thanks for the very kind comments. Really happy you enjoyed the post. Take care and please do come back. Bob

      Like


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