UNESCO SitesWestern Europe Summer 2011

Photos from Toledo – UNESCO World Heritage Site #7

After a night out in Madrid, we awoke just 4 1/2 hours later to set off on our day trip to the city of Toledo. Toledo is a historic city that developed under the influence of multiple cultures and religions, turning it into one of the most unique cities I’ve ever seen. I’m not the only person to recognize its significance, as it is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the seventh of such sites, that I’ve visited since the start of this blog.

Toledo is a city with influences from multiple cultures (Roman, Visigoth, Emirates of Cordoba, and of course the Spanish), religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), and time periods. If you read up on Toledo before visiting you can actually see the different periods of time that the city went through and the way they affected the architecture. If you’d like more information on the Historic City of Toledo you can read the official description from the UNESCO website here. Here are a few photos I was able to take during our time there.

As always you can click the photos to enlarge them.
The Alcazar in Toledo, Spain
The Alcazar stands at the top of the main hill of the city, and was originally built by the Romans, but used by subsequent ruling cultures. It currently houses government departments and also an outstanding museum that we were fortunate enough to get into for free because it was Sunday.

A View of Toledo
As you climb the main hill of the city you get an amazing view over the rest of the city.

A bridge on the edge of Toledo
A bridge crosses a river that runs through one part of Toledo just down from the Alcazar.

Streets of Toledo
The streets of Toledo were small and winding. Danielle said they reminded her of Venice, but I’ve never been so I can’t say much on that.. They were elaborately decorated, and many had fabric hanging across the top. I’m not sure if this was decorative or meant to provide shade, but it did both.

Building Decorated with Banners
A building (which I believe to be a government building) is decorated with banners for many Latin American countries from Central and South America. I’m not sure if they were all accounted for but I saw quite a few.

Toledo Cathedral
The Toledo Cathedral is the most impressive cathedral I’ve ever laid eyes on. The main portion of the building required an entrance fee but we managed to find an area we could get in for free. What you see in this picture is the main light in the center of the cathedral. To the left is the alter which is surrounded by an ornate and (as you can see) expensively decorated “cage” and to the right is additional seating. The area to the right has a specific name but I can’t remember, anyone out there know it?

Building in Toledo

Click here for a complete list of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites I’ve visited.

  1. Andrea

    I love all the colors! Looks like a great place to visit – those with many influences are always the most interesting

    1. Matt

      Yea it usually happens that way doesn’t it? They all seem to blend together instead of clash and create quite an impressive display.

  2. Sophie

    Toledo is so beautiful, isn’t it… Really like your colourful photos.

    1. Matt

      Thanks a lot!

  3. Traveling Ted

    I visited Toledo in 1993 on the obligatory post college graduation Eurail Pass trip. Brings back great memories looking at these pictures.

    1. Matt

      Ah nice, glad to help you a reminisce bit!

    1. Matt

      Yea like I said, not really sure what purpose it was meant to serve, but it served a few!

  4. david

    I haven’t had the chance to go to Toledo. Your photos make me want to get there! Nice job.

    1. Matt

      Thanks a lot! And you definitely should go if you get the chance, I highly recommend it.

  5. The Travel Chica

    Love the photo with the colorful banners. I did a day trip to Toledo when I was on a high school summer trip. A day is definitely not enough!

  6. Sherry

    This is what I love about blogs – Toledo was never a town I would have thought about going to before reading this post. What an absolutely charming place! I can already see the contrast between the old and new just with your photos alone, which is actually a nice combination. I am surely going to make a stop here once I’m in Spain.

    1. Matt

      Definitely do go!

  7. Christy @ Technosyncratic

    Wow, these really are great photos! I’ve never considered visiting Toledo, but now I definitely need to fix that. I love this style of architecture and that cathedral is breathtaking, so it looks like a wonderful place to explore for a few days.

    1. Matt

      I HIGHLY recommend it! I am hopefully going to visit Segovia as well as it is also an easy day trip from Madrid. Hopefully I have time!

  8. robin

    Toledo was arguably the petri dish for the renaissance. Before the flowering of the arts and sciences in Italy crucial texts were being preserved and translated here and ground breaking scientific work carried out. Absolutely central to the history of what we now call Europe it’s amazing the place doesn’t have a higher profile. Beautiful shots that make me want to go there. Now.

    1. Matt

      Yea the rich history here really blew me away. I was bummed I hadn’t left more time to explore, but then again there are so many other amazing places over here that I want to see as well!

  9. Jeremy Branham

    Really enjoyed my day trip to Toledo. Took about as many photos there as I did Madrid. Really liked the El Greco museum.

  10. Donna

    Wow! Your picture of the cathedral is breathtaking!

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