Toledo a Cultural Value To Moors, Christians and Jews

By: Gaizka Pujana

Due to its historical significance, Toledo has cultural value to the Moors, Christians and Jews. It was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1986 due to this valuable cultural and monumental heritage.

The historical quarter of Toledo is home to many synagogues, mosques and churches. These cultures lived peacefully side by side and their histories can still be seen in Toledo today. You can visit Toledo as a day excursion from Madrid, but in truth, it would be more worthwhile to stay over at least one night as there is more to see than you could do in one day.

Toledo boasts impressive medieval architecture, as would be expected of the medieval capital of Spain. It has examples of Moorish-Mudejar-Jewish buildings, such as the Transito and Santa Maria la Blanca Synagogues, the stunning Gothic style cathedral and many examples of Renaissance buildings. It was a fortified city and some of the walls around the city have been preserved for the benefit of tourists to the area. Just walking through the streets of Toledo is a treat as it will take you back to the days of medieval life there.

It is home to unique artistry. It was the home of El Greco and it is still home to his masterpiece, "The Burial of the Count of Orgaz." It also hosts a military museum in the historic fort. The city was built on a hill that overlooks the Tagus River so apart from the monumental interest of the city; it has natural beauty as well.

Part of what makes Toledo a unique and enticing destination, also makes it difficult for the tourist to get around. It is filled with winding narrow cobbled alleys and steep climbs. It has dozens of nameless side streets that can make using a map worthless. Using a car is pointless and public transport is not much more help. Walking is really the only way to get about in Toledo and so unless you are a good walker, it will not be an easy destination for you to visit. If you can manage however, the sites in Toledo are well worth the effort.

Toledo is well-known for its little gifts that can be bought for family and friends. Little swords and damascene that were popular in medieval times are now a popular gift to buy. Pottery is also a fashionable choice. And for those who enjoy the culinary experiences of places they visit, Toledo is famous for its marzipan.

Toledo has accommodation ranging from hotels, hostels, apartments and many other options. The prices of Toledo accommodation vary greatly, but you should be aware that the cheaper places book up fairly long in advance. So, try to make your plans early and book your accommodation as soon as you know when you'll be visiting. There are many hotels in the historic center so this would be a win if you can find one that's available.

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