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  • Day857

    Toledo - Alcázar, military museum

    October 10, 2019 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 20 °C

    Before we went to the military museum, I mentioned to Chris that I wasn't sure I would find it as interesting as he would. How wrong was I. We spent 5 hours there and only saw a third of it!

    Built at the highest point in the city, the museum is composed of two buildings; the Alcázar, a fortress dating from the 10th century of Abd a-Rahman III, which houses the permanent exhibition of which there are three different itineraries to follow, and a brand new building built around an archaeological site housing the temporary exhibitions, auditorium, cafe and library.

    We chose to do the Historical Tour, eight halls over two floors, showcasing the History of the Spanish Army as an integral part of the History of Spain. We also did a little bit of the Thematic Tour by accident when we lost each other!

    We started with the Spanish Monarchy 1492 and went right through to the 20th century. The modern museum has been superbly put together with everything well explained in both Spanish and English with plenty of inter-active additional information. Incorporated into the building are live fragments from the Alcázar history such as the Charles V courtyard, Imperial Chapel and stone spiral staircases.

    We learned that Toledo was home to the Royal Armoury for bladed, sharp weapons of war. Suddenly the penny dropped, now we understood why so many shops were selling replica swords, daggers and other dangerous, sharp objects!

    The History of Spain and its former world glory days was very well explained but in some ways must leave the Spanish visitors disappointed that it isn't the powerhouse it once was.

    The Dukes of Medinaceli collection (that we stumbled on by mistake) was a fantastic display of pristine, shiny armour for both man and horse. How those horses could move with all that weight is unbelievable as they wore plenty of armour themselves. It was interesting that many suits of armour were pierced with holes on the right breast plate. No doubt the right-handed jousters they faced were experts.

    There were plenty of uniforms to admire and it was noticeable just how short and slight most of the bodies that they adorned were.

    By the time an announcement was made advising closing time, we were 'informationed-out' but had thoroughly enjoyed our visit.

    We really look forward to our next visit to Toledo to see more of this wonderful place.
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