Last day in ToledoNovember 8 in Spain
Vivis and I visiting other sites of Toledo before leaving this beautiful city!
Vivis and I visiting other sites of Toledo before leaving this beautiful city!
Second day in Toledo and time for more exploring and filming. Headed out fairly early to avoid some of the crowds, making the nearby cathedral our first destination. The sign clearly said no photos or videos, but there were so many selfie sticks getting waved around it was ridiculous, so I decided to ignore the signs as well.
We spent a couple of hours in here following the audioguide which was actually really well done. A lot of them tend to be overly-focused on detailed and missing in the larger picture, but this one was great. The order of stops was really clear and obvious, and made sense in context (explaining the main players behind the building of the cathedral, later modifications, particularly venerated relics and tombs etc). Fascinating building too, very wide for a cathedral (as it's on the site of a prior mosque) but still smaller in volume than both Seville and Burgos cathedrals.
After we'd finished in the cathedral we headed for a very late breakfast (12:30pm) of bocadillos in the main square. Next we explored a few other sites in the city, particularly the oldest remaining mosque which had distinctive red and white archways just like the grand mosque in Cordoba (remembering that Cordoba was the capital of the caliphate). The most interesting facet of the building though was that after the Christian Reconquest, an apse had been added to the back of the building, turning it into a church. Very beautiful.
Last main stop for the day was the Santa Maria Synagogue, which, well you might ask which there's a Jewish synagogue for St Mary! Great question - it's because after the reconquest, the Jewish community in the city wanted a new synagogue to worship in. Their petition was granted, and a community of Muslim architects and builders designed and constructed the synagogue. It's considered a great example of all three faiths harmoniously co-existing during the Middle Ages - at least until the Jews were expelled from Toledo in the 16th century after a rabble rousing sermon by a Dominican priest.
With no more Jews around, the Catholics occupied the synagogue for worship, and still control the building. Apparently the local Jewish community have asked a few times to use it for their worship again, but haven't received a response - sad.
By now it was mid-afternoon and we were feeling a bit fatigued, so we headed back for the apartment and relaxed for a while. Evening came and went and around 8pm we went out again for dinner - we'd had such a great meal last night, we decided to head back to La Cave again. More great dishes again, and back home by 9:30.Read more
Toledo: starodavna nedobitna pevnost. Kralovske mesto.
Rano sa zase rutime dolu strmym poschodim, aby sme stihli vlak smer Toledo. Rezkym krokom prichadzame na hlavnu stanicu v Madride, vola sa Atocha. Tu boli v 2004 tie najvacsie teroristicke utoky. Vsade policajti a prehliadka jak na letisku. 30min bez zastavky spickovym rychlovlakom a vysadame v Tolede. Hrad na kopci jak v Bratislave. Konecne ranajky v bare, kde casnik nevie ani tuk po anglicky. Katedrala bola magnificent. Behali sme cely den jak o dusu spasenu hore dole ulickami. Mesita, synagoga, kostoliky, vsetko tu maju. Historia mesta je uzasna. Rimania, Vizigoti, Arabi a dalsi. Nezabudli sme ani na obed. Na utulnom namesticku sme si dali rebierka a plnene cervene kapie s mletym masom a flasku domaceho vinka. 👌
Navstivili sme vezu na hrade a motali sa dalej mestom a z do neskoreho vecera. Nasli sme asi nejlepsie kuracie krokety v Spanielsku. Navrat do Madridu bol zase profesionalne odvedeny. ŽSR spomíname! 🧟♂️⚰️Read more
When we woke up Naomi was sadly still feeling very sick. We checked out of our hostel room and booked a bed in another room for Naomi to spend the day resting and recovering in. Grant and I spent the day doing a day trip to Toledo since round trip bus tickets from Madrid were only 10 euro a person. When we got to Toledo we realized that neither of us downloaded any offline maps for Toledo beforehand. We had to pretty aimlessly wander for a bit until we found a McDonald’s that we mooched the WiFi off of to download some maps. Our lives dramatically improved once we had maps downloaded. I have no idea how people used to travel without modern technology! When we were finally able to navigate places we went to Alcazar to see a nice view of the city. We then went to the Santa Cruz museum which had a bunch of old artifacts of the city and the Santa Fe Convent. The convent was pretty but the whole thing was hard to follow since all the signs were in Spanish. After we were done attempting to understand the museum we got a tasty lunch of tapas and tinto de verano at la tabernita! When we were done munching away we went to the Toledo cathedral which is probably the biggest attraction of the city. The cathedral is the fourth largest cathedral in the world and everything inside was incredibly ornate and intricate. It was originally built by Muslims but the Catholics took it from them. This seemed to be a common theme in the city that the Muslims were the only ones who knew how to build anything, and the Catholics stole from everyone. The coexistence of Muslims, Jews, and Catholics play a critical role in the cities history. Included with the tickets were tablet audioguides in English which helped us navigate the cathedral and understand what we were looking at. It was a bit extra at times with dramatic music and high praises given to everything in the cathedral, but it was still nice to have. The cathedral also had an impressive art collection with pieces by famous painters such as Greco and Velasquez. My favorite thing in the cathedral was the monstrance which was the first thing ever made of gold brought back from Christopher Columbus’ first expedition to the Americas. The monstrance was so shiny and ornate! I want one! When we were done visiting the cathedral we made our way over to the Jewish district. In the Jewish district we first saw the synagogue del transito. This was a Muslim built building which is very apparent in the design of the wooden ceiling. The building was then a synagogue and then a free museum. Our next stop was at the synagogue Santa Maria la Blanca which, surprise surprise, was built by Muslims. It then became a synagogue and then as a stable for the Catholics. The synagogue was strikingly white on the inside. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a room more blindingly white which is very impressive since it shows that a lot of effort must have been made for its restoration. We spent a euro for the audioguide of the synagogue which was laughably terrible. There were only 4 stops in the audioguide and it was completely unnecessary to walk between them because nothing discussed was location specific. At least it only cost a euro! We ended our visit by going to the Alcantara bridge to enjoy the views of the city. We were very sweaty by the time we reached the bridge but the bridge was at least partially shaded. And you know what they say, the next best thing to a fully shaded bridge is a partially shaded bridge! We then took the bus back to Madrid. Upon our return to Madrid we attempted to go to Marks favorite bar only to find out that it was closed for this month. Sad! We then bought burritos to bring back to Naomi at the hostel. When leaving the hostel we decided to save money and take the metro to the train station instead of a train. This turned into a bit of a stressful endeavor because we just barely missed the metro when we got to the station and were worried about making it to our train in time. When we got to the train station we literally sprinted all around the station to get to our track. Luckily we made it on time to board our overnight train to Lisbon! It helped that we had to wait in a long line to get our tickets checked, but that also meant that sprinting was unnecessary which was a bit sad to discover. I wasn’t sure what the train was going to be like when I booked it, and when we got on we discovered that we were in chairs instead of beds, and that the lights were on. At least we saved money and safely boarded the train to sleepy time junction and will wake up in Lisbon!Read more
You might also know this place by the following names:
Santa Iglesia Catedral Primada de Toledo