"Toledo", Blog English, Country, Spain

The Military Museum of the Alcazar of Toledo

The Alcazar of Toledo houses since 2009, the Military Museum, being the result of the merger of several Military Museums created throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It is attached to the Spanish Ministry of Defense.

The idea of creating a museum dedicated to the subject of the military arose in 1803, at the request of Manuel Godoy, who served as Secretary of State and held the post of Generalissimo from 1801 to 1808, during the reign of Charles IV. Thus was created in Madrid the Royal Military Museum, preceding the current Military Museum located in Toledo. It was one of the oldest Spanish museums that responded to the interest of the Europe of the time, for the conservation and diffusion of the objects related to the military history. At the time the Royal Military Museum was created, its collections were directed to the didactic theme, which served as a support for the training of Spanish soldiers, and provided a complementary teaching to the Military Academies.

In 1929, the idea of bringing together all the existing military museums (Artillery, Engineers, Quartermaster, Cavalry and Infantry) into a new museum was born, although it never really materialized. Three years later, in 1932, the Military History Museum was created and after the Spanish Civil War, the Museum acquired the structure and organization that remained in force until its transfer in 2009 to the Alcazar of Toledo. This is when the concept of exhibition of the works was restructured, becoming the space that today the public can enjoy.

At the beginning of the tour of the Museum in the Alcázar of Toledo, the visitor is greeted by the ruins of a Roman Cistern. With a quadrangular floor plan excavated in the rock of the hill, it was used as a subterrean reservoir to collect, store and supply water to buildings of the Roman period, between the 1st and 2nd centuries A.D. The different levels of the museum are built over it.

The collection of pieces exhibited in the Museum is very diverse and comprehensive in terms of periods and evolution of the military theme in all its aspects. A great variety of armor, antique artillery and swords can be seen, including works of art such as the painting of the Taking of the town of Antequera, 1410, a work made in 1602.

The Army Museum presents a life-size display of cavalry soldiers, some from older times where they were shot with a bow and lance, and others with their armor. In addition to an extraordinary sample of very well preserved military uniforms.

Touring the corridors and rooms of the Army Museum requires at least two to three hours, due to the large number of pieces of historical value it contains. In addition to the time required to fully enjoy the Alcázar of Toledo and the panoramic views that can be seen from there, where the Infantry Academy and the Castle of San Servando can be seen.