Day 3: Toledo
May 20, 2009
In Toledo we visited the Cathedral. Coming from a Catholic family myself the Cathedral was magnificent. When I first walked in, a feeling that I can’t describe came over me. Words could not describe it and pictures do not make it justice. The altarpiece and the architecture are so intricate, unlike anything that I have ever seen before.
Another important fact is the artwork from El Greco and Goya. There were several different paintings but one in particular caught my eye, the “Disrobing of Christ”.
We were up early for breakfast in Toledo. Toledo was the capital of Visigothic Spain before the Moors conquered Iberia in 711. It is the city of three cultures: Christian, Jewish, and Islamic.
The Cathedral houses more than 20 chapels. Goya was thrown into prison after painting El Espolio for the Cathedral. We were not allowed to take pictures inside the Cathedral (really, just don’t do it). I think that even spending a whole day in the Cathedral would not allow a person to see everything there is to see.
We then visited the Church of Santo Tomé. The church houses a fine example of a Mudéjar tower and The Burial of Count Orgaz. El Greco painted himself into the painting of Count Orgaz. Outside, an older gentleman offered me a seat next to him on the bench to relax and enjoy the beautiful day while waiting for the rest of the group.
The last stop from our guide, Maria, was the Synagogue of Santa Maria La Blanca. It looks like a mosque, but it was originally a synagogue. Later, it was converted into a church in the 15th century. The horseshoe arches of the Moors were a key decorative feature in the synagogue.
Along the way back to the Zocodover Plaza, we stopped in a Toledo store where they still make the fine swords. I ditched the lunch during our free time and took a much needed siesta (it wasn’t scheduled on our itineraries, but I have a nap everyday in the States except for the days I work for Professor Simon).
When I awoke, I had to navigate a trip to a pharmacy (it seemed like they were on every street). I met up with the group later to walk about old Toledo and sample the famous marzipan of Toledo.