Today we found out where the phrase “Holy Toledo” comes from (at least according to our guide). There are 10,000 people that live in Toledo and the are 1,000 churches. Toledo is known as the “Imperial City” for having been the main venue of the court of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, and as the “City of the Three Cultures”, having been influenced by a historical co-existence of Christians, Muslims and Jews.
We got a beautiful panoramic view of the city before we started our tour (first 5 pictures). We were blessed with another beautiful day. Our tour guide took us to the Primate Cathedral of Saint Mary of Toledo (pictures 6 – 13). The cathedral of Toledo is one of the three 13th-century High Gothic cathedrals. It was begun in 1226 under the rule of Ferdinand III and the last Gothic contributions were made in the 15th century. The sacristy of the cathedral has magnificent art (pictures 14 – 17). The ceiling was painted by Luca Giordano.
The next picture is of “The Burial of the Count of Orgaz” a painting by El Greco, a Greek painter, sculptor, and architect of the Spanish Renaissance. Widely considered among his finest works, it illustrates a popular local legend of his time.
Our last stop was The Synagogue of El Transito. It is famous for its rich stucco decoration, which bears comparison with the Alcazar of Seville and the Alhambra palaces in Granada. The synagogue was the private family synagogue of the King’s wealthy treasurer, Don Samuel HaLevi Abulafia. When he built it around year 1400, he defied all the laws about synagogues being smaller and lower than churches, and plain of decoration. Good for him because it was beautiful.
On the way out of the city, we crossed a bridge over a river that provided a natural fortification for the city. Don ran ahead so he could take some last pictures of the city (and evidently to take a picture of Leslie and Linda).