In the 16th century, Toledo was the capital of the Spanish empire. Eventually the Spanish court moved to Madrid. Although the city is not the capital of Spain anymore, its history and culture are preserved through the medieval architecture. Toledo is known as a melting pot of the three cultures that coexisted for many centuries: Islamic, Jewish and Christian. The architecture throughout the city shows the Mudejar style, which is a blend of Islamic and Christian styles; there is some Jewish influences, some Romanesque structures and purely Muslim elements.
Today, Toledo is an escape from the hustle and bustle of Madrid. I took a train with Chelsea, my mom and her coworker (with her momma too!) to get to Toledo. As I set foot into the walled, ancient town, I felt like I went back in time to the medieval period. The town boasted scenic views: medieval towers, ancient buildings and a picturesque surrounding countryside that inspired the artist, Doménikos Theotokópoulos AKA El Greco. There is also an El Greco museum in the Jewish Quarter of Toledo.
As we walked around the city by foot, there was just so much to see. Shops, cafes, museums, religious places of worship…
Climbing up stairs and mazes of alleyways can be a bit of an adventure as well. With the Spanish heat and the strenuous uphill climb—I worked up an appetite. Spanish food never ceases to amaze me and we ate at a local restaurant owned by nuns, El Cafe de las Monjas.
Notably, we visited after Corpus Christi, one of Toledo’s oldest and most important festivals. The town’s alleyways were decorated with awnings, wreaths and lanterns. We were fortunate enough to capture the view of Toledo and the Corpus Christi decorations =)