The Alcazar, emblem of Toledo
During the Spanish Civil War it became a propaganda tool for General Franco, whose army managed to take this building of great strategic and military value after 70 days of continuous siege from the Republican forces, from July to September of 1936. It is one of the references that comes to mind when we talk about this historical construction, whose origins in their different incarnations go back to the 3rd century when it was a Roman palace.
Centuries later, King Alfonso VI built it as a key element of his Reconquest and Alfonso X The Wise managed to gather the city’s three cultures (Arabic, Christian and Jewish) in it with the famous Translator’s School of Toledo. Years later it benefitted from the renovations by Juan de Herrera (author of San Lorenzo de El Escorial among other works), who designed a closed and compact building around a patio. After the Civil War siege, barely half of its facades were left standing and its reconstruction did not end until 1961, which is when it was given new uses such as the Army Museum.
Inside you can find elements of the fight between the Republicans and the Fascists of that dramatic summer of 1936 and a reproduction of the office of General Moscardó, one of the high commanders of Franco’s army and of this operation, which also includes a reproduction of a telephone conversation that the general maintained with his son and that will make your hair stand on end. Military culture lovers will enjoy the different spaces that, inside the Army Museum or not, are shown to the public. One example is the Firearms Room, which includes all the weapons that were used in the 20th century, such as guns, mortars, rifles, etc. from the Army Museum in Madrid. Another interesting visit is the Miniature Room, which includes two miniature reproductions of the Alcázar, of how it was before the summer of 1936 and how it looks today.
Also, it is the headquarters of the Library of Castilla-La Mancha, a place that nobody should miss and that is located in the heart of Toledo, a short distance from the privileged location of Hotel Carlos V.