ADVENTURES OF VERINA & VINCENT IN EUROPE
The Historic centre of Toledo
Cathedral and Alcazar
Toledo's Alcázar became renowned in the 19th and 20th centuries as a military academy
At the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936 its garrison was famously besieged by Republican forces
Toledo is a city and municipality located in central Spain, 70 km south of Madrid. It is the capital of the province of Toledo and of the autonomous community of Castile-La Mancha. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986 for its extensive cultural and monumental heritage as one of the former capitals of the Spanish Empire and place of coexistence of Christian, Jewish and Moorish cultures. Many famous people and artists were born or lived in this city, including Garcilaso de la Vega, Alfonso X and El Greco, and it was the place of important historic events such as the Visigothic Councils of Toledo. As of 2005, the city has a population of 75,578 and an area of 232.1 km² (89.59 square miles).
Toledo city gates
Toledo has many towers, old gates, narrow, winding streets, massive houses, and predominantly Moorish architecture, which give it a medieval atmosphere
In the center of old Toledo
Toledo (Spain), city, central Spain, capital of Castile-La Mancha region and of Toledo Province, on the Tajo (Tagus) River, near Madrid. The city is built on a promontory, about 732 m (about 2400 ft) above sea level, bordered on three sides by a gorge in the Tajo, with the land side protected by an inner and outer wall. The most famous industry is the manufacture of swords, both by private companies and by a government factory. Other manufactures include beer, confectionery, church ornaments, textiles, bricks, and fans.
The Catedral of Toledo
Main altar in the cathedral
Iglesia de Santo Tome
In the center of the city rises the principal edifice, a Gothic cathedral (1227-1493) with 40 chapels. Other noteworthy architectural features are the Gothic Church of San Juan de los Reyes and its adjoining convent, a gift (1476) of Ferdinand V, king of Castile, and his wife Isabella I; El Tránsito, a synagogue (1366) that was converted to a church after the expulsion of the Jews in 1492; and the Church of Santo Tomé, originally a mosque and rebuilt as a Gothic church in the 14th century.
The churches of Toledo contain some of the greatest works of art in Spain, notably those by the painter El Greco
In modern terms, Toledo is sited picturesquely on
a hill above the River Tagus. But in historic terms, it is easy to see why many
different cultures settled in Toledo, as it is the almost perfect natural
fortress, with high cliffs down into the River Tagus surrounding 75% of the old
The modern day skyline is dominated by the Cathedral and the Alcazar, but once inside the city walls, there is a wealth of cultures including Christian, Muslim and Jewish, who have all left their mark on the city.
In the 16th century El Greco (Domenikos Theotocopoulos) came to the city to paint the altarpiece in the convent of Santo Domingo el Antiguo. As they say, he liked it so much, he decided to stay and he settled in Toledo until he died in 1614. He was a good judge!
On the highest ground stands the Alcázar, a vast, square edifice with four towers, now a military academy, around which the houses of Toledo are grouped in a semicircle. The Plaza de Zocodover, built in the 7th century and later rebuilt by Moorish invaders, is a fashionable promenade and was long the site on which victims of the Inquisition were burned and bullfights took place.
Transito synagogue and Sefarad museum
Interior of the synagoque
Of pre-Roman origin, the city fell to the Romans about 193BC and was named Toletum. From about AD534 to 712, Toledo was the capital of the Visigothic kingdom in Spain and became a great ecclesiastical center. After its conquest (712) by the Arabs, the city became an important Moorish center and in the 11th century the capital of a short-lived Moorish kingdom (1035-85). In 1085, after a memorable siege, the city was captured by the forces of Castile and annexed to the Castilian realms, of which it was made the capital (1087-1560). From July to September 1936, during the Spanish Civil War, rebel forces in the Alcázar were besieged for 70 days by Loyalist, or Republican, forces. Population (1991) 63,561.
Toledo train station
On May 25, 1085 Alfonso VI of Castile took Toledo and established direct personal control over the Moorish city from which he had been exacting tribute. This was the first concrete step taken by the combined kingdom of Leon-Castile in the Reconquista by Christian forces.
Toledo was famed for its production of steel and especially of swords and the city is still a center for the manufacture of knives and other steel implements. When Philip II moved the royal court from Toledo to Madrid in 1561, the old city went into a slow decline from which it never recovered.
Ballet theater of Toledo
Alhama de Granada
Granada (city, Spain), city in southern Spain, capital of Granada Province, in Andalucía, at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, at the confluence of the Genil and Darro rivers. Industries in the city, which is the trading center for the surrounding agricultural area, include sugar refining, brewing and distilling, and the manufacture of munitions, chemicals, leather products, and textiles. Tourism is important to the local economy.
Garden of the Alhambra
Other important buildings include the university, chartered in 1531 by Charles V, emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, and the cathedral, built between 1523 and 1703. Adjoining the cathedral is the Royal Chapel, containing the tombs of Ferdinand V and Isabella I, joint sovereigns of Castile.
The most important vestige of Granada's splendid Moorish civilization is the remaining section of the Alhambra, the fortress-palace of the Moorish rulers
Granada was founded in the 8th century by the Moors near the site of an ancient Roman settlement. Between 1036 and 1234, it was a part of Moorish Spain. At the end of that period, when the Moors were deprived of most of their Spanish possessions, the city replaced Córdoba as the capital of the remaining Moorish territory, called the kingdom of Granada. The city of Granada then entered its most flourishing era, becoming a rich trading center and attaining a reputation as a center for art, literature, and science. The city continued to prosper for about a century after the Spanish conquest of the kingdom of Granada in 1492. During the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) the Nationalists captured the city, but the Loyalists held the rest of Granada Province until the end of the conflict. Population (1991) 254,034.
Calle de Alfonso I
Plaza del Pilar
Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar, the first church dedicated to Mary in history
Noche - Basilica de Nuestra Senora del Pilar
Basilica del Pilar
Altar Basilica del Pilar
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