The building was erected as headquarters and prison of the Santa Hermandad or Holy Brotherhood, an organization in medieval Castile and Leon founded in XIII century to protect cities, roads, villages and property from bandits and thieves. Later different brotherhoods became typical medieval militia who maintained Royal and public peace and order and if necessary took part in the wars. On the facade of Pousada de la Hermandad we can see an eagle holding escutcheon with the coat of arms of United Spain (Castile and Leon, Aragon and Sicily), personal badges of Catholic King Ferdinand (oxen yoke) and Queen Isabel (bunch of arrows). And the most important things are two statues of arbalesters. These statues give us the notion about appearance of militia arbalesters during the last war between Spain and Granada of 1482-1492 when Moors the finally defeated. Of course arbalesters from Royal and aristocratic households were equipped much better and had armor but here we can see militiamen. Such militiamen with theirs arbalests were deadly, especially during the defense of town walls. Arbalest bolt could easily pierce chainmail hauberks and even full plate armors. So, this building is invaluable source of information for any military historian. Inside is the museum dedicated to machines created by Leonardo Da Vincy and you can see the models of those machines.
I'm not going to write about the main tourist sights/sites (apart from the stunning Cathedral) because there is ample information on Vt about these already.
But do walk the old part Toledo, as much as you possibly can. It is a truly ancient settlement and you will, if you keep your eyes open, see much evidence of its antiquity.
There is so much to see: varying architectural styles over the centuries, chunks of Roman masonry embedded into later walls, Medieval stone doorways, azelujos tilework, tiny narrow Medieval streets barely wide enough for a car (it's fun to watch people trying to drive along these), post-Medieval mansions, mudejar brickwork, vast monasteries and convents, Medieval synagogues and even earlier mosques, intricate Gothic carving on the exterior or the cathedral...so much to see.
I spent 6 hours wandering Toledo, only going into the Cathedral, one synagogue and one mosque. I still feel I barely scratched its surface; evidence of its past is everywhere.
So walk and walk and walk: you will not regret doing so!
There are 4 different walking tours you can take around the city. You can either do these walks yourself or go to the Visitors Information Office at the Puerta de Bisagra gate to enlist the help of a guide. You can obtain a map from www.go-toledo.com/walks.
Go back hundreds of years and walk through medieval Toledo.
Drop into a church... dark, candle-lit full of gigantic baroque paintings pre-dating El Greco and inspiring him.
Each winding alley-way will eventually lead you back to the city square full of bustle, bars, tapas, restaurants.
Just wonder... costs nothing and is a remarkable experience.
Toledo"s narrow streets are great for roaming around.You can see both sides at once. The side streets are very narrow. Toledo is in Spain. The currency is the euro.
The narrow stone-paved streets of Toledo may offer you more than you expect. Be ready to catch some nice photos like the cat in the vase in one of the balconies...
As soon as you arrive to the train station ask the city walking tour map. With this map you will make a nice walking tour