Toledo, Spain: Day Trip Into History

While in Madrid, and realizing that it holds so many beautiful, amazing, fun things to explore, we have been encouraged by too many people to see Toledo to ignore the opportunity.  Toledo is an ancient city south of Madrid touting “The Most Beautiful City in the World”.  For 41.20 euros, we purchased two round-trip train tickets from Madrid to Toledo.  The Atocha Renfre train station is just two metro stops from our home.  The train station is beautiful, gynormous, and a little confusing. We love traveling by train; there is plenty of leg room, you can move about freely, and it allows you to see the countryside along the way.

Since this was more of an impromptu decision, we did not do any research prior to this trip.  When we arrived (25 minute trip) at the station in Toledo, we decided to jump on the Hop On Hop Off Bus, which was 18.00 euros each for 24 hours.  We decided to ride around one time to check everything out and you can listen to an english guide explain what you are looking at. 

Toledo is set on a hill above the plains of Castilla-La Mancha in central Spain with structures dating back more than 2,000 years, to the beginning of Spain’s history.  Toledo has been home to Roman municipium, the capital of the Visigothic Kingdom, a fortress of the Emirate of Cordoba, an outpost of the Christian Kingdom, and in the 16th century, the temporary seat of supreme power under  Charles V and influences are seen stemming from three major religions – Judiaism, Christianity, and Islam.  There is an excavation site revealing evidence of a tribe of people well beyond the documented Roman influences dating 200 BC.  

In the representation of art, sculpture and architecture, probably the most celebrated in Toledo is the greek artist, Domenicos Theotokopoulos, more commonly known as “El Greco”.  El Greco came to Toledo 1577, where he lived and worked until his death in 1614.  He painted his best known paintings while residing in Toledo.

We took a break from history overload and exploration to enjoy some coffee and treats in the historical Plaza de Zocodover.  Sitting on the terrace of the Mazapan Cafe, we enjoy people watching and listening to the variety of dialects, realizing the world-wide appeal Toledo holds.  It was worth the time to come and take a peek into history, while enjoying the beautiful setting that Toledo presents.

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