TOLEDO SPAIN Background Music: Zarzuela La Leyenda del Beso
Toledo, 55 km from Madrid, on a hill and along the Tagus River, today is the autonomous capital of Castilla La Mancha. Nearing the inmense Castillian plain, the city begins to appear little by little, majestic and proud of its past and present. Entering through the Bisagra Gate is almost obligatory. Upon passing the threshhold, you introduce yourself in a midevil and multicultural world. There, Muslims, Christians, and Jews were able to live together peacefully.
Toledo is known as the city of three cultures, a name that comes from the coexistence that the Christians, Jews, and Muslims had there for various centuries. This union of traditions and customs is reflected in its architecture, above all in the mudéjar style, a mix of Christian and Muslim styles, that predominates the city. Steep, paved, narrow, winding streets. A palace and squares, many times triangular. The Jewish quarter or Jewish neighborhood, a silent witness of the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492, maintains the Jewish memory intact. The Synagogue of Passing keeps the memory alive for those who had to flee their birthland and didn´t forget their language or where they come from – the Sephardis.
Gate of the Sun It is a mudéjar work that, according to tradition, was constructed by the Hospitable Knights as access to the walled city. Its name owes itself to the relief that appeared in the Imposition of the Chasuble to Saint Ildefonsus under the Sun and Moon
The old Gate of Bisagra is the only remainder of the Arab wall. It was the main entrance to the city and is of Muslim origen from the IX century. The frontal structure is conserved practically like its origen because it was blocked off for many years. The round towers were added later in the XVI century, realized in the time of Phillip II. It carries the shield of Charles V, who also ordered the inner city to have a square patio and other pyramid towers.
The Greek painter afficionado to Toledo, Domenikos Theotokopoulos, is the best indicator of Spanish mannerism. He painted in a very personal style with disproportioned figures. His colors were brilliant, electric, and almost violent. The Burial of the Count of Orgaz is a work that one can´t miss during a visit to Toledo. The piece is found in the Saint Thomas Church. El Greco
Painting: “ The Burial of the Count of Orgaz” Artist: El Greco
THE FORTRESS OF TOLEDO It is a brilliant fortification above rocks located in the tallest part of the city. It served as much for midevil battles as it did for more modern battles, as is the case of the siege of the fortress, a very symbolic battle that occurred at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War. It is also the place where the Spanish monarchs lived after the reconquest of Toledo from the Muslims.
TOLEDO CATHEDRAL Unique to Spain and behind in size only to the cathedral of Seville, the Principle Catherdral of Toledo is a spectacular work of Spanish architecture and art. Inside we find the mark of all of the predominent artistic styles in the history of Spain. Gothic structure in the construction, Arabic traces in the ceiling in the chapter room, barroque influences in the tower, neoclassism in the door.. Looking around and walking the premises, chapels, rooms… is going back in time and discovering a past of eternal glory that is still alive today.
CUSTODY CATHEDRAL The most important object that is stored in the Chapel of Treasure is the great monstrance of Enrique of Arfe (owner of the Cisneros cardinal) and was produced between 1517 and 1524. It is of gothic archaeic traces and of great architectural beauty. The monstrance is armed with the help of 12.500 screws that hold it, 5.600 different pieces, and 260 figures. It contains 183 kg of silver and 18 kg of gold. In Toledo it is a custom since the year 1595 to take the monstrance in the procession of Corpus Christi, above a carriage made for this purpose with a tight leveling that moves mechanically. In the procession, political authorities and clergymen go in front of the monstrance, and cadets from the Infantry Academy go in back.
ARMADURA MEDIEVAL TOLEDO CRAFTS Toledo enjoys, among other things, the fame given to it by its crafts, which for centuries have been recognized for their masterwork with the steel blade. At one time, these techniques were used to adorn the swords that were made here, whose quality and beauty are unique in the world. Today they specialize in jewelry, maintaining the master technique that made them famous. www. laboutiquedelpowerpoint. com