Hotel Carlos V blog

Hotel Carlos V blog

Toledo, three cultures: the Christian quarter

It was hard for Toledo to reach its Christian supremacy, which came to stay with a strong hold from the Reconquest and thanks to the onslaughts by the army of King Alfonso VI, who managed to finally take the city in 1085. With King Carlos I in power in the 16th century, Toledo became the capital of his kingdom, in other words, the capital of that modern Spain that emerged after the marriage of the Catholic Kings and the subsequent union of the kingdoms of Castile and Aragon, Navarre included, under the figure of the aforementioned king. It was a period of splendour for the city, although the decision by his son King Felipe II to move the Court to Madrid in 1561, initiated a period of decadence for Toledo.

Toledo for free

The city of the three cultures (Arabic, Jewish and Christian, with permission from the Visigoths, of which barely any remains exist) offers a large number of attractions without having to spend a penny. Walking around its narrow streets is already a gift to all senses that is free, but there are also many monuments of huge historical and cultural value that can be visited for free.

The Toledo steel

If you walk around the streets of Toledo, you will probably be amazed at the number of metal and crafts shops that exhibit swords among their products. Perhaps you have stayed staring at the window display of one of these shops looking at this impressive arms. Toledo’s steel is famous worldwide and swords of fantastic quality and reputation are made in our city. The craftsmen of Toledo’s steel are also famous around the world and they have also been very successful in the film industry.

Marzipan from Toledo

One of the most traditional gifts that we can bring home after visiting Toledo, as well as being one of the most famous products of the city, is marzipan. If you walk around the city centre you can find many shops that exclusively sell this delicious homemade product. In the rest of Spain, marzipan is typical at Christmas time but in Toledo you can find it and enjoy it all year round. We can buy it in different kinds: from the one that is packaged in souvenir and food shops to the one that is sold by weight -which is the case in the traditional shops-. That is without mentioning some of the convents in the city where the nuns make the marzipan themselves as well as other sweets as a way of life.

The best viewpoints of Toledo

Many travellers who come to Hotel Carlos V have sometimes told us that “if you go to Toledo and don’t go to one of its vantage points, it is like visiting Paris and not seeing the Eiffel Tower”. It is very true, since the vantage points of Toledo offer us a general perspective of a city that invites us to value its monumental legacy and dream about its thousand-year-old past. However, our city was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO thanks to its unique integration with the landscape, its geographical setting and its peculiar location around the Tagus river. Today, we tell you about the 9 vantage points with the best views of Toledo.

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.