Thursday, December 4, 2014

Walking Tour of Toledo, Spain

Having three Reconquista units pass off the painting desk in rapid succession and one more in work, thoughts of the Reconquista and Spain come to mind.  With that stimulus, my thoughts drift back to my visit to Toledo, Spain.  From the rugged landscape to the sweeping vistas, one could imagine why Toledo became such a defensible and important outpost on the frontier.

When we arrived by train from Madrid, welcoming us at the platform was the fantastic architecture of the Toledo Train Station.  Marvelous exterior and interior.   
Toledo Train Station
Toledo Train Station
Toledo Train Station - Interior
The main gate into the city is via the Bisagra Gate.  Beyond the gate is the escalator to the old city, proper.  An escalator up a mountainside?  Shocking!  
Bisagra Gate
Path leading to escalators
The old city is walled and entrance is by a scattering of gates placed along the city walls.  Walls and gates circumvent the city. 
Gate
Gate
Another Gate
Still Another Gate
Once up on the heights of Old Town, narrow, serpentine roads wind their way through the streets and back alleys of Toledo.
La Posada de Manolo,
our guesthouse
Dominating Toledo's skyline is the Alcazar.  Once an imperial residence, it now is home to the Spanish National Army Museum.  Jam-packed with displays inside, one could be lost for hours roaming the vast halls.  I did get bewildered a time or two in the maze of hallways and stairs.  A great military museum and well worth a visit.  Unfortunately, no photography allowed.
Alcazar
Across the river from the Alcazar,
the Infantry Academy
Fortunately, the Santa Cruz Museum allows photos.  Two of my favorites were El Greco's Virgin of the Immaculate Conception and the Tanner's Workshop shown below.
Santa Cruz Museum
Santa Cruz Museum
El Greco's
Virgin of the Immaculate Conception
Tanner's Workshop
The Cathedral
Wandering around Toledo, one is struck by just how well situated the location of the Toledo is.  Protected on three sides by the Tajo River and built upon rugged rock formations, Toledo presented a natural fortress even before the construction of walls and fortresses.
Looking down on the lower city walls




Toledo is a fine place to visit with great sights, worthwhile museums, great food, and welcoming Spanish hospitality.  A fine place to lose a few days!

22 comments:

  1. Lovely! Just what we need on a cold winter's evening.

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    1. Glad you liked the quick tour, Edwin!

      My home town, Spokane, received a light dusting of snow overnight so I long for the sunny, warm days in Toledo.

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  2. Been there many times...loved it each time! Thanks for sharing...!!!

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    1. It is a beautiful town, for sure. Toledo was my wife's favorite stop of all the Spanish towns visited. Well, she did really enjoy the time spent on the Costa del Sol in Nerja too!

      We look forward to returning.

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  3. Very cool imagery, Jonathan. Thanks for sharing them. BTW, when I saw those suits of armor (even if repro's), I couldn't help but think how they'd fare here in the US - either disappear or vandalized in short order. Makes me think the Spaniards are justly proud of their history and heritage.

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    1. Very good point about leaving valuable artifacts out in public in the USA. Sad testimony.

      Like Starbucks in the USA, we found weapons and armor shops all over the place in Spain. From Damascus steel knives and swords to whole suits of armor.

      Probably all geared towards the tourist trade but cool, nonetheless.

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  4. I'm going to second Edwin's comment, just what is needed to cheer one up on a cold and gray day in Stockholm. Very impressive train station, seems like Toledo is well worth a stop over when in Spain.

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    1. Yes, the Toledo train station is impressive. Outstanding woodwork throughout the interior. Very elaborate and something not seen often in the USA.

      If you travel to Madrid, I hearty endorse a side trip to Toledo!

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  5. Holy Toledo! (I always wanted to say that, and doubtless will, when I go to Spain).
    What a beautiful town - and I thought Italy was a beautiful country. I would have to find a place to leave my wife for the day, but I would Love to go through that military museum.
    As Brother Edwin comments, just the sort of post for a cold winter's evening.
    Going back now to look at your Reconquista figures.
    Cheers,
    Michael

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    1. Toledo is impressive. Beautiful old word charm in an amazing location. If you make it to Toledo, do not miss the Army Museum.

      Have you ever seen a full size mounted horse archer in firing pose? Well, the museum has one! There is also a large miniatures section too.

      All of my Reconquista figures can be found in the 28mm Reconquista Gallery as a separate page. Enjoy!

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  6. Great city. It is truly a shame that I was unable to visit Spain during the years that my parents wintered there in the 1980's and 90's!

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    1. Likely, I'd say. I speak basic Spanish already, and enjoy Spanish food and culture. And then there are the Peninsular War sites, the weather, etc - much to recommend Spin as a destination!

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    2. Agreed! Both my wife and I really enjoy visiting Spain and hope to do so again soon.

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  7. I visited again last summer and it remains as beautiful as I remember from my childhood
    I was terribly disappointed with the new Army Museum at El Alcázar; the works in the building were fantastic but the guy iin charge of organsing the collection should be hanged. What a mess they've made; and many of the materials that used to be in the former museum's site at Madrid, specially the Spaniosh Civil War rooms... where are they now? ç

    Did you pass some days iN madrid? If you come to my hometown drop an email and I'l take you our for some tapas. I've been doing this every forthnight with other bloggers

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    1. Hola!
      Yes, we spent several days in Madrid. We planned our Madrid visit to coincide with the conclusion of la Vuelta. Great fun!

      Enjoyed Madrid greatly and very much enjoyed wandering around and snacking on calamaries bocadillo. Besides museums and palaces, also stopped in a well-stocked wargaming store, Atlantica Juegos. Very friendly guys behind the counter. Next visit to Madrid, I will send an email.

      Appreciate the invitation!

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  8. Don't know this town...but your beautiful pictures make me want to go there...one day...

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  9. Thank you for the pics and I for sure would love to visit it!!

    Christopher

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  10. It's been great to follow along on your European Vacation. Just lovely!

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    1. Monty! Sometimes, watching someone's travelogue can be uninteresting. I am glad you are enjoying mine!

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