With a nickname like “The Imperial City”, one might think that the city itself belongs in Italy, perhaps, but Toledo is Spanish to her core, despite having roots that are deeply marked by Roman occupation for centuries. The capital of the Spanish empire until the middle of the 16th century, Toledo is a relatively undisturbed gem of cultural and historical significance in Spain, a place where the beauty of the countryside combines with the winding Tagus River to create a nearly perfect spot to epitomize picturesque in every sense of the word. From the Alcazar to the Cathedral to the various churches and other buildings that work their way through the cobblestone streets of the city, Toledo is a mixture of several different heritages all at once, making for an absolutely intoxicating blend of uniqueness.
A World Heritage site since 1986, Toledo can trace its actual roots to long before the Romans, but it wasn’t until their occupation that it first began to rise in prominence. After that, the city fell under the rule of the ancient Arabians, and for centuries was one of the richest cities in the Muslim kingdom until the Spanish people wrested control back from them in 1085. Over the years the city has seen a variety of religions and architecture, which leads to a unique blend of Roman, Arabian, and Gothic, all combined together. From the Cathedral of Toledo to the Alcazar or the Templar Castle of Malpica, or even the Auyntamiento and the Santa Maria la Blanca Synagogue, the city boasts a great range of architectural wonders. In addition, being a culturally significant Spanish city means that the legendary Spanish food and wine are as much a part of the experience as the history of the city itself. Toledo has also been renowned for centuries for the strength of the blades that come from its smiths, and collectors can still purchase swords and knives in the city, with Toledo Steel still rated as the highest quality in the world.