Our European Adventure travel blog

SIde door through which we were able to sneak a peak.

Nave with high altar in background

Choir in center of church

Altar piece


500 year old ceiling

The transparente, which reaches into a dome.

Huge side altars behind the high altar

Side altar

Custodia de Arfe

Front entrance

Down this street

along this one

Still exploring

River below, which wound around the old city

Finding this building was an adventure

Found it

Dinner on the patio. Now a hotel, once a Moorish building

Sunday, September 6th.

It took us a while to start moving today. The weather was beautiful with the sun shining so I decided to attack the laundry.

I was quite excited because the machines were Maytag’s with the English instructions on them. Imagine my surprise when I lifted the lid on the dark things and steam arose from inside the machine; I had chosen a permanent press wash cycle; the clothes had been boiled. Off I marched to the office.

Receptionist was apologetic but could do nothing but give me two more washing cycles. I solved the problem by filling up 4 buckets of cold water and dumping it in the machine before I started it for the next batch. This worked fine. Had to do the same for the rinse cycles but it was worth it. No antics from the dryer but only had one load as I hung everything else up to wind dry.

Next I bucket washed our little RV to take some of the grunge off while Bill scrubbed off the black marks which were acquired when he came a little too close to an 18 wheeler. The road was under construction and there was barely enough room for 2 lanes-I guess we actually proved there wasn’t.

After a pretty full day of “Housework” we showered and headed into Toledo to see whatever sights might still be open and then have dinner.

I was horror struck when told the Cathedral was closed at a side entrance. We continued down the street for a bit wondering where to go next then realized we were headed in the wrong direction. I decided to try and beg our way into the church when we passed the door and it worked!!!!

What a wondrous site!!! The interior was monstrous with sturdy columns dividing the space into five naves. Each one with their side altars were easily the size of a small church.

The interior had a very soft subtle feel to it owing I think to the soft sandstone colour of the stone used.

In the centre of the church stands the choir or “Coro” which is overwhelming with its carvings and sculptures decorating the stalls. The lower stalls even have a theme; the various stages of the conquest of Granada.

One can hardly miss the high altar standing under the extravagant Capilla Mayor with its “retablo”, altarpiece, in all its glory. The painted wooden sculptures depicting scenes from the lives of Christ and the Virgin Mary are eye catching to say the least.

The chapterhouse with its 500 year old wooden Mudejar ceiling and portraits of all the archbishops of Toledo was a WOW moment.

I don’t think the picture justifies the sight of the Custodia de Arfe: with 18 kg of pure gold and 183 kg. of silver, it is a 16th century processional monstrance covered with some 260 statuettes. It is paraded throughout the streets of Toledo (pronounced Tolaido) during the Feast of Corpus Christi. What a sight that must be!

Bill was quite impressed with the “Transparente”; a mesmerising series of sculptures and frescoes that reached up into a dome and was lit from above.

All in all it would have been a crime to have missed seeing the interior of this church. I would have to put it in the top 5 of churches we have seen throughout Europe. I profusely thanked the guard who allowed us to sneak in for a” peak”.

As most everything was closed now (it was 6:30pm) we stilled wandered the streets enjoying the exteriors of the buildings and the lay out of the town. Interesting narrow, cobbled streets that wound downhill then uphill.

I was determined to find the Sinagogo del Transito. It was built in 1355 by special permission of Pedro I. Toledo’s former juderia (Jewish quarter) was once home to 10 synagogues and comprised some 10 % of the walled city’s area. After the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492, it was used as a priory, hermitage and military barracks. It now houses a museum of the Jewish culture in Spain in that period.

We finally noticed the cornerstone in a very unassuming building that we must have passed on three different occasions stately that it was The Sinagogo del Transito.

Not for the first time we thought, so much to see and so little time.

Bill had noticed a charming little patio earlier on our journey that we managed to find again to enjoy dinner.

A couple beside us was from Florida and they were touring Spain for a month in a rental car and staying at B&B’s and little apartments they had found on line. As they said it was quite enjoyable to find someone who spoke English and that you could have a good chat with. The good chat lasted about 2 hours before we headed out on our separate ways.

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