Cathedral of Toledo, Spain (2017) exterior

It had been 13 years since my last visit to Toledo, Spain. Far too long. Of course, I had to see the Cathedral, which has had some sprucing up since my last visit. It’s hard to capture this structure’s exterior in a single photo. Here is one attempt:

DSC_2923And that’s really only a small part. There’s a massive tower:

DSC_2944But as you can see, the closeness of the other buildings makes it a challenge to get a fair perspective.

DSC_2924In my next post, I’ll show some of the interior, which is equally impressive and ornate. Check back soon!

Published in: on December 27, 2017 at 1:42 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Cristo de la Luz, Toledo, Spain

Not the largest religious building in Toledo Spain, the Church of Cristo de la Luz, was originally built in the year 999. That’s right, more than a 1,000 years ago.

DSC_2975The facade features the interesting “moorish” architecture.

DSC_2986Inside, you’ll find the remains of some frescos:

DSC_2978And more:

DSC_2977This building is definitely worth a stop while in Toledo as it shows the continuity from one culture to another as it evolved in this area. Do a little homework before you go and you’ll discover the details more easily.

Hacienda del Cardenal, Toledo, Spain

During my latest visit to Spain, I returned to Toledo, a stunning place to linger. While there, I stayed at the Hacienda del Cardenal, which is located at the foot of the old town, behind the city walls.

DSC_2904The entrance sits up a few stairs at the rear of an expansive courtyard that is used for weddings and other functions. The restaurant there is good for a light meal or snack, plus some good wine. The rooms were comfortable.

DSC_2902Complete with en suite baths with all the amenities:


There is parking in a nearby lot for your car. It is an energetic walk up the hill to the Cathedral and other sites, or you can take a taxi or bus. I choose to walk because I need the exercise and enjoy the regular things along the way. In any case, Hacienda del Cardenal is a great value for your stay in Toledo.

Compare and Contrast, Spain

One of the fascinating aspects of Spain is the contrasting styles of architecture (among other things). In my travels, I’ve noted the amalgamation and integration of styles in the various significant buildings. I’ve selected two old photographs (taken between 1860 and 1880) which demonstrate this reality. The first is a shot taken at the Mezquita in Cordoba.

This old photo illustrates the “mudejar” arch, which was built by the Moors who controlled Spain for a time. After the unification of Spain by Ferdinand and Isabel, the mosque in Cordoba became a cathedral. Nonetheless, much of the original structure remained. In fact, when visiting the Mezquita, you’ll see that it appears as if a cathedral was inserted into the mosque. These arches stretch out in all directions giving an infinite feel to the space. On the other hand, if you travel to Toledo’s cathedral, you’ll see an example of high gothic construction like this:

Here you see the massive columns, vaulted cielings, and pointed windows that are hallmarks of the style. Both of these cathedrals are used for religious services to this day, which testifies to the endurance of the Spanish in their faith. It also stands as a testament to the builders of these structures. There are exhibits which show the techniques employed, which while primitive by today’s standards, were state of the art at the time. A fascinating case contains several cut blocks bearing the initials and personal marks of the masons who shaped them. These letters speak for them, as if to say, “I was here. I helped to build this.”

A note about photography when traveling… these days I tote my little digital camera with me just about everywhere. I take a few shots here and there. However, I find those glossy books designed for tourists to contain some of the best photography of typical sites like cathedrals, palaces, cityscapes and so on. I purchase them frequently because the photography within is much better than the results that could be achieved in the short time of a typical visit. Don’t hesitate to buy them. They’re cheap compared to what it costs to get such great photos.

Published in: on September 22, 2008 at 3:58 pm  Leave a Comment  
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