Posted by: debrakolkka | April 11, 2011

Holy Toledo!

I think it was Speedy Gonzales who said this. If he didn’t, he surely would have if he had been to the Toledo Cathedral.

Toledo Cathedral

The cathedral was begun in 1226 and took over 250 years to build. It is a mix of styles, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Noeclassical. It is difficult to get photos from the outside as it is squished in between buildings.

the front of the Cathedral

hiding in the narrow streets

Photos are not allowed inside, which I think is unfair, I don’t see what harm it could do. The interior is incredible and huge. My favourite bits were the choir with its carved wooden seats decorated with scenes of the Christian Reconquista, and the Transparente. There was not enough light in the Cathedral so a high window was put in later. It is a Baroque masterpiece with tumbling angels, the last supper etc, etc. My camera did something very naughty and took 2 photos – not very good, but it was in a hurry.

the hole in the ceiling

full of angels

The Plaza de Zocodover is the central hub of this gorgeous town. It is full of people and ringed by restaurants. We had our first Spanish paella in the square. It wasn’t bad, but my son, Brandon, does a mighty fine paella.

Plaza de Zocodover


The narrow winding streets of Toledo are just made for wandering. There are lots of interesting shops, with souvenirs for everyone, fans, castenets, frilly aprons etc. Marzipan is a speciality of the area, so there are many outlets here.

a little marzipan maker

marzipan goodies

We wandered by accident into a private courtyard.

a lovely courtyard

We wandered past pretty churches.

lots of pretty churches

A place we really enjoyed was the San Juan de los Reyes Monasterio which has the prettiest cloistered courtyard I have seen anywhere.

a beautiful courtyard

how lovely!

it smelled of orange blossom

I want one at home

from above

I love the elaborate water spout


detail of the church beside the courtyard

The outside of the church was beautiful as well. If you look closely at the next photo, you will see that the fellow on the left has lost a hand. An enterprising pigeon was busy building a nest in the empty space.

an excellent spot for a nest

There is a tiny mosque, Mezquita del Cristo de la Cruz, dating from about 1,000 ad.

inside the mosque

keyhole window

inside the dome

Toledo is a beautiful town everywhere you look.

looking over Toledo

one of the entrances to Toledo


Carlos V with a strange white face

the way into Toledo

just what castle walls should look like

We loved Toledo. It is a pity we only had one day when there is so much to see there.


  1. Wow … I was in Spain Dec / Jan this year (still waiting to post my pictures) but had to miss Toledo due to a combination of a bad cold and bad weather. Looks like I missed out! Thanks for sharing!

    • Toledo is beautiful, you will have to go back.

  2. Will be putting Toledo on next itinerary, loving the tour, Roz

    • Toledo was lovely, I preferred it to Madrid.

  3. Love that cathedral…! Great photos Deb.

    • Thanks, I wish I could have taken more photos inside. The carved seats in the choir were fabulous.

  4. I know this is a strange comment to make but everything looks so tidy and picture perfect!

    • Toledo was a very clean, tidy town.

  5. Debra I was going to Italy…but maybe it should be Spain? Stunning architecture.
    Roll me in those marzipan goodies please.

  6. I had no idea such architecture was in Spain…., I absolutely have to add Spain to the list. What about the hole in the ceiling huh with all those angels… amazing stuff Debra 🙂

    • That is the most amazing thing. There must be a way of getting a better look at it.

  7. That is a picture perfect post – what a beautiful place, thank you for the tour. I love the window through which we can see the orange tree. I have a ‘thing’ for windows. Compared with the 250 years to build the cathedral, I don’t feel so bad now about the years we have taken to renovate our house – though I think my resident builder might throw in the trowel if I suggested a few whimsical embellishments around our guttering. – Love the little marzipan makers. I’m even now jostling for the front seat on this tour bus – where to next.

  8. Beautiful! Just beautiful! Dull and rainy here today but this post has made that all so ‘yesterday’……your camera ain’t so naughty, it did a great job of (Holy) Toledo. Thank YOU for the ride!

    • Thank you for following.

  9. I have never been to Spain. After your tour information and photos I will ensure I go sometime.

    • There are certainly some interesting things to see in Spain.

  10. It’s all beautiful. I particularly love that angel-y hole in the cathedral…good thing your camera is disobedient. And lunch. Mmmmm. Saffron everywhere, I imagine. Love it!

    • Toledo is gorgeous. The cathedral is amazing.


  12. Hey Deb,
    Toledo looks fabulous on film! But in my head it’s Robin’s voice (of Batman & Robin) that I hear saying “Holy Toledo!” I keep telling Liam to contact you..though he is in Muncih at present

    • So it wasn’t Speedy Gonzales, but Robin. I’d love to hear from Liam. We are here for another month.

  13. […] stayed in Toledo and saw the magnificent cathedral (click here), Cordoba to see the amazing Mezquita (click here) and we just loved Seville (click here)  and the […]

  14. […] here to see more of this incredible building and look in the Spain category to see Madrid, Ainsa, Toledo, Seville, the windmills in La Mancha, Cadiz, Granada and the Alhambra and […]

    • Spain-Toledo – how absolutely wondeful. Been there June this year and already booked our apartment for next year. Toledo has to be seen again. Keep looking at my blog and soon you will see our photos of Toledo and Madrid there.

      • We loved Toledo….I wasn’t keen on Madrid, but it was 35degrees and I hate to be hot.

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