Saturday, February 1, 2014


View of Toledo

Method of Transportation: 
     To Toledo:     
        Bus from Segovia to Madrid
        Metro between bus stations in Madrid to Plaza Elíptica Station
        Bus from Madrid to Toledo
     To Segovia:
        Bus from Toledo to Madrid
        Metro between bus stations in Madrid to Príncipe Pío Station
        Bus from Madrid to Segovia 

Transportation Time: Approximately 4 Hours Round-Trip 

     Transportation: $41.32/€30.65
     Train Tour of the city: $6.88/€5.10
     Hostel: $17.53/€13.00 - One Night
     Total: $65.73/€48.75

Toledo is one of Spain's many historic cities. With over two thousand years of history, Toledo is known for being a “melting pot” of Spain’s many different cultures and has been a United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization World Heritage Site since 1986[1]. With Roman, Visigoth, Islamic, Jewish, and Christian influences, Toledo has many different buildings and structures that are reflective of the different cultures[2].

View from the City

Both early Roman and Visigoth history is reflected in Toledo. Toledo became a part of the Roman Empire in 197 B.C. with aqueduct, sewer, and early circus ruins still remaining[3]. During and after the decline of the Roman Empire, Visigoths became the dominate power in Spain and throughout the Iberian Peninsula from the fifth to seventh centuries[4]. Originating from East Germanic tribes, the Visigoths used Toledo as a center point of their kingdom that extended throughout the Iberian Peninsula and modern day France[5]. Today, Toledo holds the ruins of Visigoth structures and has many excavated artifacts from Visigoth control[6].


Toledo is known for its coexistence of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Known as the “city of three cultures,” Toledo has many different structures and monuments that reflect this heritage. Islamic monuments such as the Puerta Vieja de Bisagra, translated old Bisagra gate, still remain in the city[7]. The Puerta Vieja de Bisagra was used during the ninth century Muslim occupation as the main entrance to the city and is the only part of the wall still erect[8]. Another monument still standing is the Jewish El Transito Synagogue. A fourteenth century synagogue, El Transito Synagogue was used inside the Jewish quarter of Toledo until it was converted into a Christian church and monastery in the late fifteenth century[9]. In 1877 it was declared a national monument and became the National Museum of Judeo-Spanish Art in 1970, under the Spanish Ministry of Education and Culture[10]. The Catholic cathedral, La Santa Iglesia Catedral, is another reminder of Christian influence in Toledo.


One of the most famous structures in Toledo is the Alcázar, which illustrates the different cultures of the city. The highest point of the city, the Alcázar was originally used by the Romans as a palace[11]. It was later reconstructed by Christian monarchs during the medieval, renaissance, and baroque periods[12]. Surviving fires in 1170, 1867, and 1882, the Alcázar was destroyed at the end of the Spanish Civil War but was rebuilt to house army offices and a museum[13].

The City of Three Cultures

Overall, Toledo has a multicultural heritage and is known for its history and monuments. From the train tour, one can listen to the history of the city along with the sites, as well as visit a panoramic view of the city. Easily accessible from Madrid, Toledo has a mixture of different cultures that reflects Spain’s past.

Works Cited
  “El Transito Synagogue in Toledo, Spain.” NADAV Foundation, 2012. (accessed February 1, 2014).
“Historic City of Toledo.” UNESCO, 2014. (accessed February 1, 2014).
“Puerta De Alfonso VI Gate.” Sociedad Estatal para la Gestión de la Innovación y las Tecnologías Turísticas, 2013. (accessed February 1, 2014).
“Toledo (Spain).” arenillas2009, 2012. (accesses February 1, 2014).
“Toledo History.” GoToledo, 2014. (accessed February 1, 2014).  
  “Visigoths.”, 2013. (accessed February 1, 2014).

[1] “Toledo History,” GoToledo, 2014, (accessed February 1, 2014).  
[2] “Historic City of Toledo,” UNESCO, 2014, (accessed February 1, 2014).
[3] Ibid., “Toledo (Spain),” arenillas2009, 2012, (accesses February 1, 2014).
[4] “Visigoths,”,, 2013, (accessed February 1, 2014).
[5] Ibid.
[6] “Historic City of Toledo,” UNESCO, 2014.
[7] Ibid.
[8] “Puerta De Alfonso VI Gate,” Sociedad Estatal para la Gestión de la Innovación y las Tecnologías Turísticas, 2013, (accessed February 1, 2014).
[9] “El Transito Synagogue in Toledo, Spain,” NADAV Foundation, 2012, (accessed February 1, 2014).
[10] Ibid.
[11] “Historic City of Toledo,” UNESCO, 2014.
[12] Ibid.
[13] Ibid.

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