Toledo – Casco Histórico – gates and churches

I first came to Toledo for a couple of days back in 2001 but hardly saw anything of the town as the job got in the way. However, this time in 2018 I had four nights and a relatively light workload so I managed to see a fair bit of this beautiful medieval city.

And there’s a lot to see! So much so that I’ve written three posts about what to see in the Casco Histórico so as to break it up a bit. My map with everything on is here.

My hotel was located at the top of the hill, opposite the Alcázar de Toledo (top right in the picture above). The Alcázar is a major sight in itself but I decided to leave that for a rainy day as I wanted to get a good walk in. The March weather was pretty cold and miserable but it was still a huge improvement on the ice and snow back in the UK.

Just down the hill from the Alcázar is the Plaza Zocodover where the Order of Toledo would meet in the mornings. Famous members of this avant-garde artistic association included young artists and writers such as Salvador Dalí and Federico García Lorca.

From here it’s a short walk to the Terraza Miradero where you can get good views of the valley below (and eat and drink in the evenings). From here you could take an escalator to the bottom of the hill and make a detour to see the Puente de Alcántara, a bridge with Roman origins that has been rebuilt a few times.

However on my first morning I walked down to the bottom of the hill to Puerta Bisagra which is the city’s main gate.

Double-headed Habsburg eagles are emblazoned above every archway. The one above the outer entrance is particularly impressive.

Just through the gate is the Iglesia de Santiago el Mayor (aka Church of Santiago del Arrabal), a former mosque converted into a church (one of many in this town). Built in 1245–48 in a Mudéjar style the exterior is nice enough but it’s very gloomy inside. The plain facade on the other side is quite impressive in its own right.

Click on the galleries to enlarge the pics.

From here it’s a short walk to the Puerta de Alfonso VI.

And up the hill from here is another nice gate called the Puerta del Sol.

Just a little further along again is the Puerta de Valmardón, also known as the Puerta Bab al-Mardum.

When you walk through it you immediately arrive at the Mezquita Cristo de la Luz, another former mosque that later became a church. It’s small but beautiful.

From the garden above it you can get a view of the Puerto del Sol and the city below.

I bought an entrance bracelet here for €9 (in 2018) which gets you into many of the city’s main attractions.

Walking back to the hotel I took in the exterior of the cathedral, Santa Iglesia Catedral Primada de Toledo. It was built between 1227 and 1493 and each entrance looks quite different.

The Puerta de los Leones on Calle Cardenal Cisneros is the most beautiful.

And that was enough walking for one day. The day after I headed over to see the sights in La Juderia on the western side of the Casco Histórico…

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