Fun things to do in Toledo

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Most Viewed Things to Do in Toledo

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    Toy train

    by alectrevor Updated Jul 10, 2013

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    Take the toy train around Toledo, its goes over the river so you get good views. The fare is 5 euro 10 c, buy your ticket at the kiosk in the main square. The train as one stop for a photo shoot. There is also a open top tourist bus , fare 9 euro.

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    Hidden Heritage Tours

    by GentleSpirit Written Dec 17, 2012

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    The Consortium of Toledo has put together a tour of sites that were until recently too deteriorated, buried or otherwise forgotten. Restoration work has been done to make these sights presentable to the tourist. Some are just archeological remains. Some are smaller ruins, others seem more significant. They span the entire history of Toledo, from the Roman era onwards.

    Some examples
    Roman baths, Islamic living rooms, Jewish house, various convents, churches and towers.

    Perhaps a good way of enticing tourists to stay a bit more time.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology
    • Museum Visits

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    Toledo Train Station

    by TooTallFinn24 Written May 17, 2012

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    It's not often that a railway station is a landmark in itself. However arrival at the Toledo train station itself is an experience. If you don't arrive by train it is worth a look.

    Built in 1920 it is similar in appearance to an old Arabic palace. All four sides of the buildings are covered in architectural detail. The inside of the station contains rich Arabic tiles and plaster mouldings with beautiful glass windows.

    The central part of the station is right by two naves, one which is next to the belltower, and is intended to imitate the style of the churches of Toledo. The brick work on the outside of the station is in similar colors and textures to the buildings of Toledo. Most impressive!

    Toledo Train Station From Facing the Tracks Interior View of Train Station Another Interior View of Train Station

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    Puente de Alcantra: Bridge and Castle

    by TooTallFinn24 Written May 15, 2012

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    As we descended our way on foot back to the Toledo Train Station we came across the magnifcent Puente de Alcantra or Alcantra Bridge. The name Alcantra comes from an Arab word that means bridge or arch. This impressive bridge was constructed by the Muslims in the 9th century AD. In the mid 13th century it was washed away. King Alfons X ordered that it be rebuilt and it was reconstructed several years later. In the Middle Ages it served as one of the principal entry points for pilgrims into the City. To the west of the bridge there is a fortified gate with impressive arches. The viewing and walking of this gate provides a fitting end of an impressive day in Toledo.

    View from the Top of the Puente de Alcantra Puente de Alcantra Side View Puente de Alcantra

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    Cathedral Treasury and Monstrance of Arfe

    by TooTallFinn24 Written May 15, 2012

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    In a relatively small room sits some of the great treasures of the cathedral. Three are worthy of mention and one stands out as superb. These include the Monstrance of Arfe, a red coral cross provided to the church by the people of the Phillipines, and a 700 year old bible hand copied and skillfully illustrated by french monks.

    The piece that clearly stands out above all others in the room is the Monstrance of Arfe. This treasure sits 10 feet high in a glass case and weighs over 430 pounds. It was designed to hold the holy communion wafer during the festival of Corpus Christi. It was constructed by Heinrich von Harff under the direction of Cardinal Cisneros between 1517 and 1524. It has the form of a gothic temple with rich detail including arches, columns and vaultings just like a real cathedral. It is adorned with an amazing amount of gold, silver and precious stones. It also has a great deal of finely detailed stautettes all over the cathedral.

    Every year since 1595 the Monstrance of Arfe is carried on a float during the festival of Corpus Christi. It is an event that is widely viewed in Toledo as well as Spain. It is also the one treasure that always has a huge crowd of people around it in the Treasury.

    Monstrance of Arfe Close Up Monstrance of Arfe:  Top View

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    Toledo Cathedral Capilla Mayor (High Altar)

    by TooTallFinn24 Updated May 14, 2012

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    The Capilla Mayor within the Toledo Cathedral we both agreed is one of the most magnificent pieces of Gothic art we have ever seen. This area is also sometimes referred to as the Retable. The altar piece is made of painted larchwood and was constructed during 1407-1504. it was originally commissioned by Cardinal Cisneros to serve as a testament to the glory of God and the church. The many gold adorned panels tell the story of the New Testament. Some of the figures in the altar piece are off set giving them a third dimension and adding to the beauty of the altar. The whole culminates in a monumental scene of Christ's crucifixion at Calvary. The altar transcends from floor to ceiling. I would estimate the height to be approximately five stories.

    We literally spend up to a half hour on two different times during the day examining the beautiful work in the Capilla Mayor. On first viewing the Capilla Mayor will most certainly take your breath away. We wondered how much gold has actually gone into the Capilla Mayor and thought of where the gold actually came from and under what circumstances to please the church.

    Capilla Mayor Higher Portions of Altar Capilla Mayor

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    Visit the station

    by leics Written Mar 4, 2012

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    This might seem an odd thing to write about, but if you are visiting Toledo you may well come by train.

    Allow yourself a little time to explore the magnificent architecture of Toledo's station: it took me entirely by surprise and I fear my photos do not do it justice.

    The station was designed by one Narciso Clavería in the Neo-Mudejar style...intricate brickwork, horseshoe-arched windows, stained glass, detailed wooden carving (especially the ceiling) and azelujos tiling.

    It is a really lovely building, opened in 1920.

    Station clock-tower Station exterior Azelujos tilework Intricately carved ceiling Stained-glass windows and chandeliers
    Related to:
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    • Architecture

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    A truly ancient mosque: Cristo de la Luz

    by leics Written Mar 3, 2012

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    The mosque of Cristo de la Luz is out of the way but really is worth seeing.

    It is a truly ancient building and one with real atmosphere.

    The mosque dates from the 999AD and there is an Arabic brick inscription running around its exterior, reading:

    >Bismallah (in the name of Allah). Ahmad ibn Hadidi had this mosque erected using his own money requesting a reward in paradise for it from Allah. It was completed with the aid of Allah under the direction of Musa ibn Alí, architect and Sa'ada, and concluded in Muharraq in the year 390

    The mosque is tiny, only 8m long by 8m wide. Yet in that tiny space are three aisles, crossed by 3 more...divided by pillars(some with Visigothic capitals) and horseshoe arches. In the ceiling are 9 square vaults, each of which has a different design .. see my travelogue here).

    On the northwest exterior are horseshoe-arched windows with red and white striped brick decoration. The mosque had a courtyard area, now a small, peaceful garden with a fountain and access to the city walls (fantastic views).

    Legend has it that when King Alfonso VI conquered Toledo in 1065 and entered the city in triumph his horse knelt in front of the door of the mosque. A magical shaft of light led the king to a centuries-old hidden crucifix.

    Later, in 1186, the building was given to the Knights of the Order of St John and it became the Chapel of the Holy Cross (Ermita de la Santa Cruz). A brick apse was added, and you can still see fragments of early-Medieval wall-paintings in that part of the building.

    I found this building fascinating and very well worth the effort involved in seeking it out.

    Open 1st March>30th September: 1000 -1845
    1st October > 28th February: 1000-1745

    Entrance fee in February 2012 was 2.50 euro. Worth every cent.

    Inscription detail Mosque exterior Horseshoe-arched windows and striped brick Visigothic column capital Mosque interior
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    The oldest synagogue?

    by leics Written Mar 3, 2012

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    Santa Maria la Bianca...the Ibn Shushan synagogue... may well be the oldest synagogue in Europe which is still standing.

    Built in the late 1100s/early 1200s (the date is not 100% certain) the building feels almost like a mosque, with its curved window shapes and its lack of a women's gallery (the original building had none, although one was fitted in later centuries).

    It is a huge space, divided into five aisles by series of columns. I loved the decoration on the column capitals, inspired by fruit, foliage and pinecones.

    The synagogue became a Catholic church/chapel in 1405, when one Vincent Ferrer (later sainted) led a crowd of Christians into to it to convert Toledo's Jews. Sadly, this attempt at conversion not only resulted in the synagogue becoming a Christian place of worship but also in the deaths of many Jews, who were thrown over the town's rocky cliffs. and, over the following centuries, also served as a place of refuge for 'fallen women' and an infantry barracks.

    It is still owned by the Catholic church, who run it as a museum open to the public.

    Entrance was 2.50 euro in February 2012.

    Synagogue interior 1 Arches Column capital Tiles Synagogue interior 2
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    Iglesia Del Salvador

    by stevemt Written Oct 24, 2011

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    This church is facinating.

    Not only is it a typical Spanish Catholic church, but also an archeological site of an ancient mosque.

    The diggings can be visited inside the church - very very interesting

    Related to:
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    • Archeology
    • Religious Travel

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    Santa Maria La Blanca Museum

    by unaS Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The Santa Maria La Blanca was a 12th century synagogue that was turned into a church after the Expulsion of 1492.
    It is now a museum.

    Architecturally it is Mudejar and Almohad. It appears more like a mosque than either a synagogue or a church. It has been all three. The walls are lined with pictures so that it is all too easy to miss the building itself:
    ~Look up at the ceiling on the far right aisle after you enter,
    ~ Look down at the floor to see some of the original old tiles.

    The pictures on the walls are modern drawings and paintings with an emphasis on mysticism.
    There are some signs and explanations in Hebrew and some in English, but most are in Spanish only.

    Post cards in the gift shop here are a good deal less expensive than anywhere else in Spain - only 30 Euro cents each.

    Related to:
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    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel

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    Museo Sefardi

    by unaS Updated Apr 2, 2010

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    A modern hall added to the Sinagoga del Tansito is now the the Museum of Sefarad (Spherad). It is larger and more complete that the museums in Granada, Barcelona and Sevilla.

    The term Sefaradi refers only and specifically to the descendants of Spanish Jews since the Expulsion in 1492 by King Ferdinand II and Queen Isabella I.

    The rooms are organized by content.
    Room I contains artistic items related to the culture, tradition and religious practices of the Sefaradi Jews. Rooms II and III show the material and cultural identity in Spain, from their arrival after the Exile from Jerusalem under Roman domination, till the exile from Spain. This includes the Golden Era under some of the Muslim rulers.

    The East patio show the archeological finds from the earliest days, even before the first synagogues so far discovered.
    The North patio is a recreation of funerary practices with tombstones engraved in Hebrew.

    Room IV is the former sacristy of the Knights of Calatrava, has typical dress of the period including a bride and groom from North Africa.
    Room V the Women's gallery including other Sephardic communities from around the world with some religious ceremonial objects like a Megillah (story scroll) of Esther.

    All of the rooms are built around the Synagogue of Tránsito (an original synagogue converted into a church and reconverted back to a synagogue) which is used today for special occasions.

    Admission Euro 3, free under 18, retired, permanently disabled, unemployed and others.
    Free Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning.
    Closed Monday

    North patio Orig. wooden ceiling of the Sinagoga del Transito
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    Hop-On Hop-Off

    by unaS Updated Apr 2, 2010

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    The Autobus Turistico is very worthwhile if you aren't a good walker. While it is possible to walk from the train station up into the town and from there all around, Toledo is very hilly and the hills are steep.

    The HOHO bus meets each train as it arrives. It is a small single deck bus, but the first stop is the Alcazar. There you can transfer to the double decker for no extra charge. The double decker does the circle of the walled city outside the walls. It has a number of stops at different city gates to go in and visit the sites. I got off at the Puerto San Martin and walked up to the Santa Iglesia Catedral Primada to start my visit.

    Walked all over the town from there and then back downhill to the same gate to catch the last HOHO at 6pm back to the train station.

    It is very inexpensive, only Euro 5.00 pp. with 50% discount for children and seniors. Infants till 3 years, free. (October 2009)

    There are 12 stops on the Blue Route (Ruta 1) and 11 stops on the Red Route (Ruta 2). Only the Blue Route goes to/from the train station, otherwise they are identical.
    You can transfer freely between them at all the stops.
    Runs every 30 - 45 minutes.

    Good recorded audio explanations in 6 languages. Earphones included in the price.

    An age old settlement Puerto San Martin Hereldry at Puerto San Martin
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    • Family Travel

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    The Burial of Count Orgaz

    by SirRichard Updated Mar 22, 2010

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    This famous El Greco painting can be found at the Santo Tome church.
    There is no guided explanation included in the ticket, but if you wait a bit inside, you will be able to join some of the many groups coming to visit it, and you will hear the story of this painting and the explanation of all the figures (really interesting). Here are some hints:
    - El Greco is the bearded gentleman in the middle with the Red Cross and 2 hands extended.
    - In the handkerchief of the boy you will see its signature.
    - The only woman between more than 50 figures is Virgin Mary (!!)
    - Most of the famous characters of Greco's Toledo are portrayed in the painting.
    ... and many more details I learned just listening...

    Ticket: 2,30€

    The painting Ticket for El Entierro del Conde Orgaz
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    Transito Synagogue

    by SirRichard Updated Mar 22, 2010

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    This old synagogue, built in 1357, is now a jewish culture museum.
    Closed on mondays, entrance fee is 3 euros.
    It has been used as catholic church too, as you can see in the pic (Bell at the left). Now you can visit the empty main building (see pic 2), a small garden and the Jewish Museum.

    The synagogue Inside the synagogue of Ticket Museo Sefardi
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    • Religious Travel
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel

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