Toledo and La Mancha

Decorative ceramic tilesToday we left Cáceres and travelled east to Talavera de la Rreina, a town of Roman origin known for the production of azulejos, decorative ceramic tiles.

After a brief visit to Talaveres we continued our journey to Toledo a short distance south-east from Talaveres. Toledo is a city and municipality located in central Spain, the capital of the province of Toledo and of the autonomous community of Castile-La Mancha.

" .... rocky gravity, glory of Spain
and light of her cities .... "

Cathedral at ToledoCervantes, a Spanish author famous for his novel Don Quixote de la Mancha, described Toledo as a "rocky gravity, glory of Spain, and light of her cities." The old city is located on a mountaintop, surrounded on three sides by a bend in the Tagus River, and contains many historical sites, including the Alcázar, the cathedral (the primate church of Spain), and the Zocodover, a central marketplace.

Chains hanging on the outside walls of St John's monasteryWandering through the narrow streets we discovered some of the city's more unusual sights, such as the chains taken from Christian prisoners freed from the Moors in Andalusia, which, have been hanging on the outside walls of St John's monastery for over five hundred years. Toledo is also famous for its inlaid metalwork and you can buy traditional souvenirs, miniature swords, which make excellent paper-knives.

Santa Maria la Blanca synagogueThe main sights in Toledo are the Cathedral, seat of Spain's most important bishop; Santa Maria la Blanca, a church originally built by the Moors as a synagogue, and the Church of Santo Tome, where El Greco's masterpiece, The Burial of the Count of Orgaz, can be seen.

 

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Scenes from Spain

La Mancha

Cathedral

bull billboard

landscape