Toledo, Madrid, Seville were the basic centers of the Spanish inquisition. This religious organization has brought Spain "black" glory. Fires on which burnt heretics, tortures, - all this till now is considered gloomy suits of judges a symbol of the fanatical Spanish Middle Ages.
However figures speak about something opposite. During the whole time of existence of inquisition in Spain there were executed 5 thousand person. In compare: in England - 30 thousand person, in Germany - 100 thousand. Almost 90% prebecome before the tribunal were sentenced to participation in construction of churches, pilgrimage, carrying of crosses, charity, a public repentance. Only as a last resort guilty it was sentenced to imprisonment. 3 % got on a fire.
Toledo is famous not only because of its brilliant history and architecture, but also art treasures. The main riches - paintings by El Greco. The most well-known masterpiece is "The burial of Column Orgas". The master embodied at the painting also himself with the son. It is kept in Iglesia de Santo Tome. Many works are collected in the museum Santa Cruz (the Sacred Cross), in Monasterio de Santo Domingo El Antigua. There are canvases in the house-museum of the artist - Casa Museo de El Greco.
Look for some stairs... If you walk down you will get to the riverside, and will able to have a whole new and also great perspective...
De ese lado del Tajo, busca unas escaleras, si las bajas te encontraras justo en la orilla del rio, lo cual te dara una nueva y muy hermosa perspectiva....
The court of inquisition (its name is translated as "test") has been founded by the decree of Ferdinand and Isabella for strengthening Catholic belief in the captured country. Moslems and Jews who lived on these grounds, after a christening secretly kept the belief also planned mutinies. The Great Inquisitor was the head of the court. The most well-known inquisitor was a christened Jew Tomas Torquemada. Possibly he became the prototype of a bright image of the Great Inquisitor in "Karamazov Brothers" by Dostoevsky.
In Toledo you just have to get lost... It´s a small city, so you cant get SO lost that you will never know where you are... But if you just walk around you will see so many beautyfull buildings, parks, churches that you will fall in love with this amazing place...
Iglesia de Santo Tome and the house-museum are in the Jewish district (Juderia). The architecture of the temple does not represent big interest. The separate entrance conducts in a chapel where ashes of Ruis de Toledo - the seigneur of the Orgas city who died in 1323. 250 years later El Greco wrote on request of priests of this church the well-known picture. Many critics consider it as the best product of the great artist.
The history of Toledo is closely bound with the history of Spain. The city was one of the important spiritual and political centers of the country and one of the first city stirred to action against Muslim oppression. In spite of the fact that king Phillip II carried the capital to Madrid, there are a lot of magnificent monuments and a special timeless atmosphere of city from famous history of Toledo.
Calle de los Alfileritos (Little Pins Street) is one of the several narrow streets of the ancient city. The legend says that once upon a time, two lovers were separeted by the war; the lady went each and every night to visit an image of Virgin Mary, situated on this street, to pray for her lover's life. As she was afraid of sleeping, she asked her maid to sting her with a pin; then, she gave the pin to the Virgin, as a proof of her sacrifice. One day, happily, the gentleman came back.
Nowadays, the Toledan girls leave a pin, and ask the Virgin for a boy-friend. I don't know if this works, because when I went there, I forgot the pin!!!
La Calle de los Alfileritos es una de las numerosas callejuelas de la ciudad antigua. Cuenta la leyenda que una vez, dos amantes se vieron separados por la guerra; la dama iba cada noche hasta una imagen de la Virgen María, situada en esta calle, para rezar por la vida de su amado. Como temía quedarse dormida, le pedía a su doncella que la pinchara con un alfiler; luego ofrendaba el alfiler a la Virgen, como prueba de su sacrificio. Un día, felizmente, el caballero regresó...
Hoy en día, las chicas toledanas dejan un alfiler y le piden un novio a la Virgen. Yo no sé si da resultado, porque cuando estuve allí, me olvidé de llevar un alfiler!!!!
Toledo is the frequent "hero" of the Spanish literature. Lope de Vega gave Toledo a name "a crown of Castile". More than 20 thousand Jews lived in Toledo. The name of the city occurs from the Jewish word "toledot" - "a number of generations".
One of the joys of Toledo is wandering through the narrow streets of the old Jewish quarter, following the twists and turns and hopefully not getting thoroughly lost !
This is Calle de San Juan de Dios, where you can find Casa del Greco.
.Toledo is full of quiet streets and narrow passageways. This is a door that leads into a cloister of the Cathedral. I walked in here and was completely alone for at least ten minutes. In fact, I was there in December and found myself virtually alone on streets quite often.
I spotted this doorway in one of the narrow streets - don't ask me where, I know it was somewhere just north of the Cathedral, but we were lost at the time ! There are lots of fine doors in the side streets, all probably hundreds of years old.
There are SO MANY beautifull views from Toledo, in every single angle... In every single part... But to see the "panoramic view" of the river Tajo, it's just amazing... In the rocks in front, the birds rest, but with a single noice, you will watch hundreds of them flying and then, returning again to their place at the stones...
Hay tantas vistas bellas en Toledo, en cada sentido, en cada parte. Pero ver la "panoramica" del rio Tajo es increible... En las rocas de enfrente, descansan cientos de pajaros, que al mas leve sonido levantan el vuelo y luego vuelven a su lugar en las rocas.
A nycelharpa is a relatively rare Medieval instrument with roots from Sweden. We found this lady outside of the Toledo Cathedral playing the most magnificent version of the theme from the Last of the Mohicans. A small crowd was gathered around her because the musical sounds resonating from the instrument were so unique.
The nycelharpa belongs to the same family of instruments as the French Vielle or English hurdy gurdy. The instrument works by having wooden keys that slide under the strings and have little elements set perpendicularly to the keys that reach up and stop (shorten) the melody string. It’s sort of like moveable frets that move to meet the string, rather than pressing the string against a fingerboard or frets. A short bow is used by the person using the instrument. In this case the lady who was demonstrating it was remarkably skilled at using this nycelharpa. We learned that this instrument is sometimes called a moraharpa even though it is not related to the harp.
One of the beauties of Toledo is the combination of the old and the modern. Take the time to just walk and wander the streets for a fascinating experience.
The people are friendly and happy to help if you need directions, but you can't really go wrong.
Toledo is built on a hill, so if you just go downhill from anywhere you will end up at the city wall and can then walk around to one of the gates.