After Madrid we ventured onward to the fanciful town that is Toledo. In the middle of a very rural area with a population of less than 10,000 living inside the walls, Toledo seems like the fairytale land of “far, far, away”. Toledo is known as the city of three cultures because it was here that Christians, Jews, and Muslims lived peacefully for years. Toledo was the capital of Spain before Madrid and the area is known for its metal, which was evident in the shops; abundant with jewelry, swords, and a variety of knives. Due to the metal industry here, Toledo was the maker of weaponry and jewelry for Lord of the Rings.
The city is surrounded by a stone wall which is surrounded by a river, it is beautiful and seems very secluded. I felt as if I had stepped back in time. Various locations in the city exemplify the blending and influence of the three cultures.
Overlooking the river and hills.
This Catholic Monastery was built in the late 1400’s to celebrate the Battle of Toro, a victory over Portugal.
This temple was built by moors in the 1100’s as a synogogue, and then later used as a church. The decorations on the arches show symbols from the three religions.
Many of the stores showcased their craft of metalworking with armour, plates, jewelry, and weaponry.
The Catedral de Santa Maria was built in the 13th century in the Gothic architectural style. The detail put into its construction is incredible; from stained glass to carvings, vaulted ceilings, and the metal adornments, every element adds to its grandeur.
The coat of arms of Toledo is this double-headed eagle with a crow overhead and shield.
Megan, my roommate, and I with a foggy Toledo in the distance.