CASTILLA LA MANCHA _ TOLEDO
Castilla la Mancha, right in the middle of the Iberian peninsula, is an autonomous community of Spain. I’m sure you are aware of Don Quixote’s stories. Well, this is the place where him and Sancho Panza reigned! Wheat, grapes and olives at their best.
The golden hour on the rooftops! Hot and sexy falling rays of light down the picturesque, quiet little town of Toledo. Golden Rays on Top! Pale grey with a bit of gold. Wooden balconies, interconnected fairy tales.
Welcome to the city of three cultures, where Christians, Arabs and Jews lived together for centuries.
A Roman municipium, the capital of the Visigothic Kingdom, a fortress of the Emirate of Cordoba, an outpost of the Christian kingdoms fighting the Moors, the temporary seat of supreme power, Toledo is the repository of more than 2.000 years of history.
One of the Spanish cities with a great wealth of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque monuments, an artistic and cultural legacy. A world heritage site with diversity of artistic styles, an open air museum with castles, churches, synagogues, mosques and palaces.
Before starting your tour keep in mind that Spanish people are faithful to SIESTA. Everything works properly until 1.30 PM, a peaceful pause for everyone until 4.00PM and back again!
Oh! The best time to visit the tangled alleys of Toledo is early afternoon when the sun sets and touched smoothly the buildings. Fade Out.
HOTEL ST ISABEL
Right in the middle of the swirling narrow corridors of the city, lies this simple beauty. Don’t expect much, just a nice starting point, a clean and tidy place to rest and definitely the best terrace view in town.
A restored 15th century building, 3 minutes walk from the glorious Cathedral and all the major El Greco related sites offers the perfect starting point for your discovery channel.
A quiet guesthouse to host you for a night or two, offering just what you literally need, nothing less and nothing in excess.
EL MEJOR BOCADILLO DE JAMON IBERICO
The definitive minimalist sandwich one can find in the whole world. Absolute crispy and freshly baked bread filled with carefully cut super thin slices of this local delicacy found literally anywhere.
From petits shops selling casual everyday stuff serving a quick snack to go, to expert stores serving breakfast on the go.
Choose Wise, Trust your Eyes.
MUSEO DEL GRECO
In commemoration of the 400 anniversary of El Greco’s death, the city of Toledo in 2014 hosted a major exhibition throughout the whole town. You can still follow the steps of the renaissance artist’s works found splashed across the whole city. Actually, it is the best way to spend your day! Follow my steps following El Greco’s steps.
Small and extremely well preserved, the museum is situated in the Jewish quartier.
A marvelous perspective on Domenikos Theotokopoulos life and work through the 40 years he lived and worked in the Spanish city. I’d suggest you first watch the video and then take a stroll among his great works of art. It will give you all the necessary information to help you understand what will follow.
The museum / house is filled with the great artist’s paintings but the crown jewel of the collection is “El Apostolado” paintings.
Even if you are not a great fan of El Greco’s works, you will definitely appreciate him after this visit.
ARCHIVO MUNICIPAL DE TOLEDO
In 1999, Ignacio Mendaro Corsini, great architect and teacher of architecture, has designed and developed the Project “Archivo Municipal de Toledo”. Not one of the most visited sites, though a breathtaking contemporary building a concrete gem, that offered the Top Architecture Prize in 2001to the community of Castilla de la Mancha.
As Olivier Gahinet puts it in his paper “Designing a building for the centre of Toledo to house the municipal archives meant implementing a major, high-value project for the city, but one that few actually visit except for scholars and sightseers. It was, in a sense, to be a public building without a public. Quite a paradox!”
Just go check it out, it is worth seeing a contemporary space perfectly fit within three different past eras.
SACRISTíA DE LA CATEDRAL DE TOLEDO
The Sacristy, built in the early 17th century, consists of a rectangular room of Classical style.
The crown position is held by the splendid painting of El Greco “The expolio” or “The Disrobing of Christ”, while underneath lies the sculpture “Saint Ildephonsus Receiving the Chasuble”.
Very really close an enchanting painting by Goya “The Betrayal of Christ” can be located.
The sidewalls exhibit the thirteen paintings of “The Apostles” which you have already admired in the museum. This is the place where the paintings take their real dimensions.
You can also see some other magnificent works of the famous Greek painter “Saint Francis,” “Saint Domingo de Guzmán,” “The Tears of Saint Peter,” “Christ on the Cross” and “Saint Joseph with the Child”.
In addition to this magnificent collection of works by El Greco, the Sacristy currently houses the grand Cathedral Art Gallery, featuring works by Bellini, Caravaggio, Titian, Morales and Tristán, among others.
Founded in 1920, this “taste in travel” gem is the absolute destination for the ideal culinary orgasm. Featured in major food magazines and sites around the world, promises high level tasteful trips.
Prepare your shopping basket to fill with genuine local tastes and make sure you don’t visit this food art space with your stomach empty.
People who legendary own the place for the last 100 years have a philosophy that guides the quality offered nella casa!
They care for excellent, premium quality and this is why the offer only original typical artesanals’ products with a strong personality and an even stronger flavour. You can call it a splendid experience!
Let’s see what you should try.
Go for Queso Machego Artesano Navaloschaces, if you are a cheese lover. Who isn’t? The Aceite Virgen Extra “Lorietta”, for a full flavour dressing and the Pate de Jabali Trufado al Armanag will so blow your mind into a million stars universe.
And bring you back to keep you going!
La Granja Escalators towards River Tagus
The mechanical steps, “La Granja Escalators” designed by José Antonio Martínez Lapeña and Elías Torres Tur, is a perfect example of resolving an urban problem in old cities. A parking garage linked with the city at a higher level by a cascading system of covered escalators.
An awesome, voluminous wall structure built in ochre-coloured concrete, to fit perfectly with the terracotta medieval creatures.
Get up there and just check the view. Priceless.
Sitting on seven mounds, Toledo has the Tajo (Tagus) river on three sides and a Roman wall on the fourth. Tagus, the longest river of the Iberian Peninsula runs across Spain, Portugal before ending up in the Atlantic Ocean somewhere near Lisbon.
Oh! L’ escalador!
“Un bar tradicional con un tinte peculiar!”
Literally a great discovery just across La Granja Escalators, with the most beautiful outdoor terrace in El Greco’s town. An expert in typical tapas with a meaningful contemporary twist. 30 years old and today la Cervecería Trébol is a delicious pin in the map of this enchanting little town.
Remember this name “Bomba”. Slurp!