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The Swords of Toledo and its Fairytale Medieval Town

We decided to take a day trip to Toledo from Madrid. It’s only half an hour on their high speed train so it was worth it.

like a fairytale

like a fairytale

Toledo used to be the capital of Spain before they moved it to Madrid. It is located on a steep hill and full of medieval and Moorish flavor. It used to be the center of learning under King Alfonso. It was one of the few cities in our world history where there was religious tolerance and Muslim, Christians and Jews all lived together peacefully. They even participated in this massive translating of important books and texts which would eventually be called the Toledo School of Translators.  Scholars congregated and translated the Bible, the Koran and the Torah and other important Greek and Roman works into  Hebrew, Latin, Arabic and Castiliian Spanish. According to this documentary, Michael Scot, a wandering polyglot scholar was looking for a school of learning. He thought the schools in Paris thought too highly of themselves especially for the kind of learning and students they were producing –not good enough. He found the school he was looking for in Toledo. Here was true learning – of three different cultures assimilating and learning from each other and reviving the Greek and Roman texts and knowledge.

Toledo is known for its swords. There are many Lord of the Rings replica swords. There are Western medieval swords. Celtic swords. Roman swords. And Moorish swords and scimitars.

Toledo is known for its swords in the world

Toledo is known for its swords in the world

We saw two beautiful places of worship – a Jewish synagogue and a Visigothic Christian church that combined their ethnic religious art with Moorish/Islamic art. Why you ask?

At that time, Muslim architects were well known for its intricate carvings and tiles. Everyone was striving to get them. Only the very best for us, thank you. You are Muslim? Yes, we’ll hire you. The Alhambra and the Mezquita are some of the finest examples of Moorish art.

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Moorish art in Christian church

Christian art

Christian art

Moorish arches

Moorish arches with Christian Byzantine iconography

Visigoth crowns

beautiful Visigoth crowns

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Jewish synagogue commissioned by Samuel Levi, the treasurer of Peter of Castille. Look at the Hebrew writings on wall reminiscent of Arabic writings you see in many Moorish buildings

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a very beautiful Torah

a very beautiful Torah

One city I’ll enjoy visiting again – Toledo

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4 thoughts on “The Swords of Toledo and its Fairytale Medieval Town

  1. Mike McIlvain says:

    Toledo was one of my first stops in my 12 trips to Spain. I love taking photos with the dawn light, and some of the best soup I ever had in Spain was found there. Ironically, there was some sort of Chinese celebration going on when I was there.

  2. adventuretimesthree says:

    We ended up going to Segovia for our only day trip from Madrid when we were there but I wish we would have been able to go to Toledo as well. Next time! Love the first picture with the bridge! Very fairy tale like indeed.

    • Kate says:

      I had heard Sergovia is great. They have the Disney castle and the giant aqueduct. Toledo is awesome and worth the visit. I wish we went to both. Thanks for liking the bridge. It’s a very beautiful medieval bridge

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