Upon entering the Spanish city of Toledo through the Bisagara Gate, you will reach the Arrabal neighborhood and immediately with what some have called “the most imposing Mudejar complex in Toledo,” the Church of Santiago el Mayor. Brick and masonry of the thirteenth century, it was converted and edifice over an old mosque. Continue reading ““Santiago el Mayor del Arrabal” Church, Toledo”
The Catholic Monarchs in gratitude for the victory at the battle of Toro in 1476, battle which resolved the succession to the throne in favor of Princess Isabel, ordered the construction of the Monastery of “San Juan de los Reyes” in Toledo, Spain. In 1477 the architect Juan Guas began the works and ten years later, the main chapel, the main nave of the church and the vaults were completed. Its style is Gothic, the so-called “Hispanic-Flemish” or the reign of the Catholic Monarchs.
On the facade of the Monastery of “San Juan de los Reyes”, the symbolism of royal power is reinforced through the statues of heralds.
In total there are twelve, six are observed here. The heralds were in charge of preceding the monarchs in their appearances in public and presenting their messages in the courts of other kingdoms. Originally it was intended that this Monastery were to house the remains of the monarchs upon their deaths. Eventually the honor was bestowed to Granada with the construction of the Royal Chapel.
The chains and shackles of the liberated Christian prisoners are found hanging from the exterior walls. The queen ordered they be so exhibited here in 1494.
In the Cloister of the Monastery of “San Juan de los Reyes” in Toledo, Spain, we can find a garden with pomegranates, myrtles, cypress, orange, and other species. With a square layout, the courtyard of the cloister usually has a place in the center where four paths cross. In this case, in the center is the water well.
The windows that open to the cloister allow the flow of a very unique lighting to the enclosure. One can also observe the beautifully carved stone, as if it were filigree and can find the works of the sculptor Cecilio Béjar of Toledo, who also worked until 1967 on the restoration of the images of the saints that are found in the lower cloister. Among the sculptures made by Béjar are dragons, apes and exotic birds. The gargoyles found have the function of relieving the water collected from the roof, serving as a drain.
On the central windows that face the courtyard, we find eagles holding royal shields between yokes and beams of arrows. Cresting is used, that is, fretwork found in the upper part of a building or a roof.
The fretwork borders the roof tiles and hides it with the use of pinnacles or needles which provide for greater height of the structure from the cloister.
The Monastery Church
The church of the Monastery of “San Juan de los Reyes” in Toledo, has a single nave covered with ribbed vaults, starry dome over the presbytery, high choir and side chapels between the buttresses. The abundant decoration that adorns the cruise and the main chapel stands out. As for the altarpiece of the presbytery, the original one disappeared during the Napoleonic war.
The current one from the last century comes from the “Santa Cruz” Hospital of Toledo, founded by Don Pedro González de Mendoza, Cardinal of the Holy Cross of Jerusalem. That is why the weapons of Cardinal Mendoza, founder of the Hospital, are showcased in the altarpiece. Its author is Francisco de Comontes, carver and painter. In the altarpiece one observe the scenes of: Jesus on the way to Calvary, The Descent and Santa Elena with the miracles of the Cross.
At the feet of the “Alcazar” of Toledo and under the watchful eyes of the Monument to the “Gesta del Alcazar”, facing the Tagus River, is Lookout Terrace of the Alcazar. The “Mirador del Alcázar” is located on the gounds of a private underground parking. Continue reading “Lookout of the Alcazar of Toledo”
The Church of San Tomé in Toledo, Spain, was built in the twelfth century over an eleventh century mosque. During the reconquest of Toledo by Alfonso VI, it was customary to build churches on the remains of mosques and synagogues, not only to mark the triumph of Christianity, but also to take advantage of the foundations and materials used in them. Continue reading “Church of “Santo Tomé”, Toledo”
On the site of the land where the Palace of the Marquis de Villena stood and in the heart of the Jewish Quarter is the “Mirador del Paseo del Transit” Park in Toledo, Spain. This park was opened in 1865. Continue reading ““Mirador del Paseo del Transit” – Toledo”
Upon exiting the “Santo Tomé” Church, we walk up the “Travesía del Conde” reaching the “Santo Tomé” street and further along we came across the Plaza and Church of “El Salvador”. This spot has been a holy place for various cultures were multiple temples have been built. The Romans, the Visigoths, the Muslims and the Christians. During the reign of “Alfonso VII” (12th century) it becomes a church dedicated to “San Salvador”. Continue reading ““El Salvador” Church – Toledo”
The Consistorial House or Town Hall that we see today in the “Plaza del Ayuntamiento de Toledo”, is a work that began in 1575. However, due to various complications, its architects and construction masters delayed its construction. The baroque architect, Teodoro Ardemans finally concludes the works in 1703. Continue reading “Consistorial House of Toledo”
Railway stations throughout Europe, in general, create memorable experiences and the framework for many images and memories. Therefore, we love to travel from city to city by train. Every turn, every bridge and tunnel you go through becomes an exciting adventure. At each stop, the train station tells its story. Stories of the city, its people, its history and much more. The Railway Station of Toledo, Spain, is undoubtedly one of those magical stops that we enjoy very much when visiting this great city.
The city of Toledo is known as the “City of Three Cultures” as a result of the influences of Christians, Spanish Jews and Muslims. In fact, the Jewish quarter of Toledo still has manifestations of the Jews in Spain and one of those expressions can be found in the Sephardic Museum.
It is always a pleasure to return to the medieval city of Toledo in Spain, which in itself is a jewel full of charm. Up there, on the hill above, is this wonderful city that from the plains we can observe. Its narrow streets, its history, monuments, temples, all evoke a past and glorious time. Continue reading “Finding Cervantes”