Tourist Information For Toledo, Spain
Toledo, the capital of Castilla y La Mancha, is situated 40 miles off the southeast portion of Madrid, Spain. This wonderful city is rich in a great artist’s works as well as tourist destinations. El Greco, the world-renowned painter of the 16th century, considered Toledo as his home when he arrived from Crete.
History of Toledo
In the 5th century the Visigoths made Toledo their capital but in the 6th century the Moors invaded the city and ousted the Visigoths. In 1085, King Alfonso VI of Spain conquered the city and ushered in the golden era of Toledo which lasted until the time King Philip I transferred his court back to Madrid in 1561. After the end of its golden era, the economy of Toledo experienced a downfall. Up until today, the great historical buildings of Toledo remain in great condition.
The magnificent Toledo Cathedral is one of the attractions in the city. The construction of this great cathedral started in 1227 and was finally completed in 1493. It is one of the most magnificent cathedrals in Spain. It is home to a great collection of masterpieces by great artists like Goya, El Greco and Velazquez.
San Tome Church
The San Tome Church in Toledo is visited by hundreds of tourists each year to have a look at the gigantic artistic masterpiece, El Entierro de Orgaz created by El Greco. The El Greco masterpiece depicts the burial scene of the Count of Orgaz by Saint Augustine and Saint Stephen. A bigger collection of El Greco’s oil paintings can be found at the Casa y Museo del Greco in the old Jewish part of Toledo. Being a famous artist of the city, his works together with those of Goya and Ribero can also be found in an old 16th century hospice turned into a museum.
The Alcazar castle is hard to miss in Toledo because of its gigantic size. This castle was almost completely destroyed during the Spanish Civil War. The Nationalist forces commanded by Jose Moscardo used the castle as a fort while the Republicans besieged them for almost 10 weeks. The castle has been brought back to its former glory and is now a military museum with artifacts from the historical siege that almost destroyed the castle.
The Jewish community of Toledo was quite large in the middle ages and because of that the city has two very old synagogues, the Santa Maria La Blanca and the El Transito. The Santa Maria La Blanca was built in the 12th century but it was turned into a Christian church after the Jews were ousted from Toledo in 1492. The El Transito was built in the 14th century by Samuel Levi.
Travelling by plane to and from Toledo is not a problem because it has an airport near Madrid, the Barajas Airport. The train system of Toledo is also very reliable. There are also plenty of buses traveling in and out of the city. For assistance, tourists can head to the local tourism office in Puerta de Bisagra which is open 7 days a week.