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Toledo Cathedral

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160 reviews of Toledo Cathedral

Not to Be Missed!

This is a corner that can’t be missed every time you visit Toledo. The cathedral was built in the 13th Century, in a pure gothic style that can only be compared in Spain with the Burgos’ Cathedral or the one in León. Its façade, tower, statues and relieves will amaze you.

It is of a breathtaking beauty, both by day and illuminated by night. Even though you have to pay to go in, it is worth visiting at least once in a lifetime.

It is the biggest gothic cathedral in all of Spain and it was finished during the time of the Catholic Kings. It was the symbol of the Spanish future ahead, a true manifest of the intention of the catholic power in a multicultural Toledo of the time.

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Art to Impress

Even though it is difficult to see the monuments in the old part of Toledo, at least this cathedral is found in a square that allows you to contemplate the façade with a certain perspective.

I sat in one of the benches and from there observed the details of the façade. On the top you will see the Holy Dinner, an invitation to what you can find inside. A bit down you can see the statues of the evangelists and the local saints.

What most caught my attention was the scene of the tympanum. Instead of having the classic Final Judgment you could see a feminine figure giving a man archbishops’ clothing, since in Toledo the archbishopric is a transcendental act.

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A Must

I can say little of a place that is best described in encyclopedias, detailing the kind of architectural style, histories, and legends.

I will just say that visiting Toledo and not going inside the Cathedral is almost a sin. The best thing is to go inside from the Puerta del Reloj (Clock Gate) going down Chapinería Street. There you can have a glimpse of the temple, then surrounds the building, going past the Puerta de los Leones (Lions Gate), (please stop to take a look), then reach Puerta Llana (Flat Gate) and be sure to pay to go in, or you will regret it. It costs 7 € plus 3€ more if you want the guided tour with tape recorder.

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Toledo's Cathedral

What most surprised me of this fabulous cathedral was, without a doubt, its huge size.

In my opinion, the exterior is much richer and attractive than the interior, especially the doors of access with thousands of images and sculpted allegories. I also really liked the Arch of the Palace, which seems to remain unchanged throughout the centuries.

A curiosity we heard was that in 1755 the biggest of the nine bells was installed: the Campana Gorda (the fat bell), raising its 17 tons of weight by means of pulleys moved by 100 mariners that came from Cartagena. It cracked with the first chime, so the original three meter clapper was changed for a smaller one!

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Another Marvel of Toledo

Unfortunately, my camera ran out of memory, so I could only take pictures of the Cathedral’s facade as well as some details, so I have to depend on my visual memory to tell you about everything I saw and everything that made me marvel inside the place.

It is not very common to submerge in the history of a place before visiting it, and I haven’t done this every time I travel, but I did do it before traveling to Spain, and I saw many of the places I wanted to visit. The few facts I knew about San Ildefonso were limited to my religious historic knowledge: that he was a Spanish monk that was later Archbishop of Toledo after the death of San Eugenio in the year 659, who was famous for his wisdom and virtue. He continued the treaty of viris ilustribus of San Isidro and wrote important works, two of them remain and are found in the British Museum. People celebrate him on the 28th of January.

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