5 Must See Toledo Sights in Spain

Toledo is Spain’s former capital city. It presents a rich mix of Jewish, Moorish and Christian heritages. The best part is the old charm is maintained and no new high rise building is permitted. The terrain is a bit uneven throughout the old town of Toledo, better to wear good walking shoes. Toledo was included in UNESCO World heritage list in 1986 for its extensive cultural and monumental heritage. There are plenty of free sights to see which will take up most part of the day. You can study and choose the paid sights that you wish to see and spend the remaining time walking around. I have chosen here just 5 of the many must see Toledo sights.

Toledo cityscape

Cathedral of Toledo

This one is so huge, so grand, so spectacular and worth a visit in spite of its high ticket prices. (In Spain almost all cathedral had entry tickets unlike in Portugal and Greece.) Even 2 hours wouldn’t suffice to take a complete satisfactory tour of the place; it is a forest of lofty pillars inside. The ticket counter is across the road of its south entrance, Calle Cardenal Cisneros. They do give audio guides, you need to leave your ID doc with them. Maps are provided and the combination of map and audio guide makes an excellent self guided tour possible.

If figures impress you, the cathedral is 120m in length, 59m in width and 45m in height! It took a couple of centuries to build it. High Altar with its celebration of Mary’s Assumption is bound to daze you! Other noteworthy sights are: Choir, Chapter House, Chapel of New Kings, Cloister. There is more! Definitely one of the must see Toledo sights!

Tickets to Cathedral of Toledo

8euros, 11euros for trip up the bell tower. Open: Mon to Sat 10.00AM to 18.30. Sunday – 14.00 to 18.30. And yes, photography without flash is allowed.

must see toledo sights cathedral

Toledo cathedral

San Juan de los Reyes Monastery, Toledo

This is a grand Franciscan Monastery which is a church too. It was built in 15th century by Catholic Monarchs, Ferdinand and Isabel. The exteriors are stunning as much as the interiors. Notice the chains in the façade. The story behind those is that Moors used these to chain Christians in Granada till 1492. After freedom from Moors they brought these chains to church making them a symbol of faith! The interiors kind of reflect what a superpower Spain was in the 15th centuries. The cloister with its small garden is grand. Innumerable sculpted figures with animal and plant motifs, the inner arches that straddle the upper cloister adorned with 2 lions on each, the walk around is worth it.

sanjuandelosreyes_cadenas

Mosque of Christ of the Light, Toledo

This is a unique combination of Roman, Arab and Christian history. A church now, was a mosque of the Moors who ruled, built on the remains of a church of Roman era! Any history lover’s must visit site in Toledo. The highlight of this monument is that it is pretty much in the same state when it was built. The approach is difficult and is through several lanes going up and down. But then this is last of the mosque of the Moors who ruled here. The geometry, the patterns, the designs on domes all faded, yet definitely worth a capture before they fade away further.

Tickets cost 2.50 euros per person, Open: 10.00 to 14.00 and 15.30 to 18.40 – Monday to Friday. 10.00 to 17.45 on Saturday and Sunday.

Toledo moors churchToledo church interiors

Santa Cruz Museum Toledo

If you have time to visit just one museum in Toledo, Santa Cruz Museum would be an ideal choice. This is ranked among the best museums of Spain. This museum displays around 15 works of the most reputed painter El Greco of Toledo. The building has a unique history of being an orphanage and hospital. It was made in 16th century and the façade is exquisitely sculpted. The exteriors also bear the bullet scars of Spanish civil wars. The cloisters, archway and staircase all are worth observing. The precious and valuable exhibits are on the upper floor, some good mosaics too. The ground floor has temporary exhibits.

Tickets cost 6 euros. Open: Monday to Saturday – 10.00 to 19.00 hrs. Sunday: 10 to 14.30hrs.

the-facade-of-the-museum-of-santa-cruz

Iglesia de Santiago del Arrabal, Toledo

Iglesia de Santiago del Arrabal is a church where prayers are offered even today. This church has retained the characteristics of a mosque. The site where it stands now earlier had a mosque and a church. This church was built in 1245-48 and is named after Saint James (Santiago) of the outskirts (Arrabal). It is the exteriors of this church that is more interesting compared to its interiors. Iglesia de Santiago del Arrabal seemed to be made of just bricks and has unusual cylindrical shape. It is located in the outer periphery of town of Toledo near the town walls.

must see toledo sights

must see toledo sights gate

Toledo souvenirTravel Photo Thursday

You may also like...

33 Responses

  1. Mridula says:

    The church-mosque looks so alluring!

  2. Yogi Saraswat says:

    Pictures of European structure always attracts me . They have best building structure all over the world, no doubt !!

  3. Great architecture amazingly captured. Kudos, Indrani 🙂

  4. Superb architecture very beautifully captured by you 🙂

  5. Santa Cruz Museum looks awesome. Old charm is maintained here. That is very nice

  6. Awesome pictures nicely captured

  7. Prasanna says:

    Wow! those are some grand buildings, the cathedral is mesmerizing

  8. Ami says:

    Toledo is a heritage lover’s paradise…amazing. Those chains outside the monastery are just so intriguing. Lovely post

  9. Maniparna Sengupta Majumder says:

    Great pictures, Indrani…I just loved the last one!!! 😀 😀

  10. A wonderful post with stunning pictures.

  11. Hey, how did those flip flops get in there?

  12. Another destination found! Thanks.

  13. Deeshani says:

    Every time I come here I always get amazed by such stunning pictures. 🙂

  14. ladyfi says:

    Beautiful shots of the city.

  15. Renuka says:

    Visited your blog after a long time. Nice to know about such a charming European country! Glad to know that they didn’t spoil the old charm by building new high-rise buildings.

  16. Amazing place,
    Nice post and Awesome pics.

  17. eileen says:

    Hello, beautiful tour of the city. Have a happy day and week ahead!

  18. divsi says:

    Fabulous architecture! Love your Spain posts Indrani 🙂

  19. I love the architecture and design of the Mosque of Christ of the Light. Unlike anything I’ve seen before!

  20. Rajlakshmi says:

    the architecture looks marvelous. Thanks for sharing this 🙂

  21. Toledo is one of my favorite places in the world. There are so many places to see that I think you need like three days to see everything. I would add a visit to the Alcazar and to Santa Maria la Blanca.

  22. Stunning photographs and pretty informative post. Wish we can visit Spain someday. 🙂 🙂

  23. Thanks for the tips! I’ll be sure to add these to my list the next time I visit Spain.

  24. Mar Pages says:

    I love that no high rise buildings are permitted! Singapore is so different, skyscrapers and flats everywhere. It makes a great skyline but sometimes I miss the charm of old buildings. Would love to visit Toledo soon!

  25. There are some great sights to see here. I cannot choose the best among the list. I would love to see all the places. I am particularly in awe of the amazing sculptures in Spain. would love to see them some day for myself.

  26. Fantastic architecture here! I love the tidbits of history in this post. The chains are such a disturbing story, but so much of history is!

  27. Vyjay says:

    The place is a unique blend of Jewish, Moorish and Christian cultures. The sights are a testimony to this unique and seamless integration of these cultures.

  28. I love all that architecture. So many different styles and meanings! It’s fantastic that they are keeping it well preserved and away from the impact of modern design.

  29. Nice! I’ve never been in Spain but hopefully next year! I’ve heard a lot of good things about Toledo <3

  30. Ami says:

    Iglesia de Santiago del Arrabal looks really interesting. That is not to say that the other sites dont. They are just amazing. Would love to spend a week here, exploring all these in detail.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *