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Toledo, the Imperial City

Posted by GLSpainEnglish on January 27, 2016

Toledo is called the City of the Three Cultures due to the coexistence of the three religions of the Book there, Muslims, Jews and Christians, which lasted several centuries.

While the city pre-dates the Roman conquest, it was with the Visigoths in the 6th century when it became the capital of Hispania. The Arabs arrived in the 8th century and, along with Jews and Christians, ushered in the city’s most resplendent period. It was during that time that the Toledo School of Translators was created. Later, in the 16th century, the city became the capital of the Holy Roman Empire under Charles V.

Behind its walls, the city preserves a vast artistic and cultural heritage by way of its churches, palaces, fortresses, mosques and synagogues. This wide diversity of artistic styles makes the old city a veritable outdoor museum and led to its declaration as a World Heritage Site.

Its history as a city is fascinating, and its nooks and monuments unending: the Bisagra Gate, the walls, the mosque of Cristo de la Luz, the synanogues of Santa María la Blanca and Del Tránsito, etc.

But most of all, Toledo is walking, going up and down hills, and discovering nooks hidden in plain sight that can only be unearthed by delving into the magical, labyrinthine streets of the city centre.

It’s fantastic to have within your reach a centuries-old heritage so rich and diverse, that one day won’t be enough. Sip a coffee on a terrace with views of the synagogue, visit El Greco’s house, go into the countless crafts shops... Everything is simply delicious, though your feet will be begging for a rest at the end of the day. After all, the hills of Toledo take their toll.

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