Walk around the winding streets of for a short time and one of my first observations was why all of the stores selling knives, swords, toledo swords, pocket knives, daggers, and even axes. Was this the location where the movie Bravehart disposed of its metal goods and local shop holders flocked to buy them? It seems like every fifth or sixth store had a display window full of these products. I mean these are not the kind of things tourists can take back in their suitcases when flying or even taking the train.
So compelled to find an answer to this question I asked in my best possible Spanish one shopkeeper why all the knives. He explained to me that for years Toledo was known nationally and world wide for the fine steel blades made for knives and swords. Many people came to Toledo to buy these products and the reputation of Toledo knives and swords has remained strong over the years.
Corpus Festivities (all through the June month) are the main festivities in Toledo. There are many attractions everyday, it's a nice time to visit the city, though reserve in advance if you wanna sleep here!
See the activities (in spanish) at:
The streets are covered with material canopies which are lined with Lavender, Rosemary and Thyme. Wrought iron lamps feature at intervals along the canopies. The buildings are adorned with flowers or floral adornments with flags and tapestries.
Toledo has hosted the festival of Corpus Christi for centuries and it has been declared an International Heritage event. Held in May, it is the city’s most important celebration. Starting with a procession at midday, the usually quiet air of the town comes alive to bells tolling to kick the celebrations off. The events go on all week and are full of all kinds of entertainment and sports.
Damascene or Damasquinado is the art of black steel items which are etched with 24ct gold thread but sometimes also silver and copper. The process involves lightly etching a design on steel with something like a stylus tool. The gold thread is then laid inside the edges and held down to form the delicate pattern.
Just across from our hotel was a lovely large public park where I wandered some, in the mornings for coffee, or just a general look at what was going on. On one visit I encountered a "boules" or "petanque" game (not sure what the Spanish call it). I sat for a while watching. There was a good deal of laughter and talking and one guy, in an effort to knock someone else's ball away, rolled his a a good 15 meters past the whole court. Finally the lady in the photo evidently won as she let out a whoop, laughed loudly and did some significant fist pumping. She even looked over at me and smiled. I noticed some of the older looking men (like the one on the left in the photo) had some kind of small chain they were carrying. This mystified me until, when the game was over, the older guy suspended his chain over the ball and picked it up with the magnet attached to the end. You can see the chain in his hand in the second picture.
Marzipan is a little sweet for my taste but is evidently big here it seems to be all around the Mediterranean. I have seen some brightly colored marzipan creations before, but I am not sure anything equals this model of the Church of St. Tome. The popularity of both the sweet and the art is attested to by the presence of marzipan shops all over town
The Feast of Corpus Christi falls on the Thursday of the ninth week after Easter and is the most extraordinary event on Toledo's religious calendar.
By chance, I was in Toledo in this very day, 15th June 2006.
Location: Plaza de Zocodover.
and Galleries are in abundance in Toledo and a good place to take a breather in a cool place
Toledo has been since medieval times the most importand place for the craftsmanship of armaries, though I a not a friend of, still could appreciate the fine, handcrafted pieces.
handcrafted Pottery is more to y taste and should not be missed when in Toledo...make space for a piece in your Luggage
This badge of the eagle was used first by the "Catholic Kings" in the 15th century.
And recently it was adopted too by General Franco Dictatorship to simbolize a return to imperial times... it didn't last much though...
Inside the cathedral, in the chapterhouse there are 13 wall paintings with portraits of archbishops of Toledo (two are by Goya). In the Sacrisity (which is now a small picture gallery) visitors can see the pictures by El Greco, Goya, Morales, van Dyck, Rapael, Titian and Mengs and a sculpture of St. Francis by Pedro de Mena.
Selfportrait...he has a permanent exibition with most of his work at the Cathedral's Sacricity.
which featured also works from Tizian Goya and other great Masters of this period
View of Toledo by El Greco, approx. 1595, as he saw his City, bringing the medievel character of his Toledo on Canvas....the dramatic sky over Toledo, just as we can see it these days.
El Greco 1541-1614 born in Greece.
lived and worked in Venice, Rome and Spain, till he settled in Toledo, for his most importend work, he never left Toledo again
You can get easily lost in Toledo, due to its narrow streets that all seem the same after a while. But there are signs all around showing you the way to the main attractions.
A map is useful too :-))