our mini at the hotel Paradores Toledo
This famous city in El Greco´s painting looked just like the painting, not as elongated of course, but it was a real eye opener to see this city in person, and pretty much from where El Greco painted it. Toledo is about 90 km from Madrid
, and we had to detour around the city to the Paradore hotel across the river, with the view of the city. It´s a really nice hotel, and you can´t beat the view for sure. It was top $$, but we had the view of El Greco´s Toledo right outside our window! After a lunch in the Paradore, we drove into the walled city which had more than 2500 years of history. It is well preserved, and still look like it came from another era and possibly world. Because it sits on a hill on the bend of the Tajo River, it is surrounded on 3 sides by the river.
It is just really cool looking! Found parking in an underground parking lot not far inside the city gate, and took escalator up to the street level, where the main plaza Zocodover was. It was not a large plaza but Toledo was not a big city, with only about 10000 inside the city walls. The cathedral was the tallest, and the Acalzar was imposing, large and dominated the skyline. We went inside the cathedral and had a self-guided tour.The cathedral is most Gothic in style with fancy pointy things on its spire. It is almost 800 years old! Stained glass windows are high and hard to get a good close look. The main doorway (lion gate)/ is elaborately and intricately carved. We went inside after buying tickets( 7 euros each) but no photos were allowed inside! The cathedral had a main altar, and a choir in the middle, with fancy iron grille worth admiring, the high altar is very high indeed and full of figures telling the stories of Christ, etc.
Great view right out of our window in the Paradores Toledo hotel, the cathedral is a bit to the left, the Alcazar is the tall one straight ahead
The choir had the most interesting carvings on the seats, representing various sins, you should definitely take a look if you visit! The ceiling above the high altar and choir is very beautiful. In the Sacristy, there are a lot of fine paintings, including one of El Greco's best paintings "The Spoliation" (showing Christ being stripped of his robe). There was also a small but impressive treasury in the cathedral, including a 10 foot high monstrance, of diamonds, emeralds and rubies, and gold-plated silver, the center has a 35 pound piece of gold!
We had dinner at a restaurant Cafeteria Cason Lopez de Toledo near the Plaza de Zocodover, which is supposed to have a fancier upstairs restaurant, but we ate at the downstairs local version, the food was OK, and after eating all over Spain for the next 2 weeks, this was one of the most boring/blend dinner, but it was also cheap.
Toledo Hotels & Accommodations review
Best view of Toledo across the river Tajo
The Paradore de Toledo is situated outside of the city, on the spot where El Greco painted his famous view of Toledo. Be sure you get the right Parado… read entire review