6 things maybe you didn't know about Toledo

Toledo is a millennium-old city filled with history and legends that cover it layer upon layer. Discovering it in all of its depth is a thrilling voyage through time, in which we can come across all kinds of surprises.

In this article we will tell you about some curiosities of Toledo, things that perhaps you did not know about our city and that you can remember when walking on its cobbled streets during your next visit:

1) It is a World Heritage Site

In 1986, UNESCO registered Toledo in the list of Cultural Goods declared a World Heritage Site “for its landscape values, geographic setting, location of the river, the cigarrales (houses on the river banks), the meadows and the vantage points (La Granja, Virgen de Gracia, Santa Leocadia, San Cristóbal)”.

2) It is one of the sunniest cities in Spain

Only behind Andalusian cities like Huelva and Malaga. In 2007, it was the third sunniest city in Spain, with 3,040 hours of sun and an average temperature of 15.4 degrees Celsius, which also made it the warmest one in the whole of Castilla-La Mancha.

3) Inspiration to many writers

The first written mention of Toledo dates from the year 192 BC, when Titus Livius described it as “a small yet well fortified city”. Since then, the list of writers, playwrights and poets that have honoured our city in their writings is extensive.

Illustrious names of Spanish literature such as Don Juan Manuel, Arcipreste de Hita, Fernando de Rojas, Fray Luis de León, San Juan de la Cruz, Santa Teresa de Jesús, Miguel de Cervantes, Tirso de Molina, Calderón de la Barca, Quevedo, Lope de Vega, Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer, Benito Pérez Galdós, Blasco Ibáñez, Lorca, Garcilaso de la Vega, the anonymous Lazarillo, Luis de Góngora, the Generation of 98 and the one of 27... as well as kings Alfonso VI and Alfonso X have all mentioned our city.

4) It is twinned with ten cities from four different continents:

Old Havana (Cuba), Toledo, Corpus Christi (USA); Guanajuato (Mexico), Agen (France), Aachen (Germany) and Veliko Tarnovo (Bulgaria) as well as Damascus (Syria), Safed (Israel) and Nara (Japan).

5) Public executions took place in Plaza de Zocodover

Since it was a stage in the city’s public life, Plaza de Zocodover used to host bullfights, military games, Auto-da-fé of the Spanish Inquisition and also executions of prisoners: torture, hangings and the use of the garrotte.

6) The chains of San Juan de los Reyes are real

On the walls of the monastery of San Juan de los Reyes, a temple ordered by the Catholic Monarchs as a mausoleum, we can see numerous steel chains hanging. They say that they are not ornamental but rather those worn by the imprisoned Catholics that were liberated by the Monarchs themselves after the conquests of Malaga, Almeria, Baeza and Alhama.

Photo (CC) by Ferrán Moya.