Hotel Carlos V blog

Hotel Carlos V blog

Travel to magical Spain

To introduce yourself to esoteric Spain, you do not have to read the never-ending Gargoris and Habidis by Fernando Sánchez Dragó. All you have to do is come to the Museum of Magical Spain (Museo de la España Mágica) in Toledo and, for just 2 euros, you can access a “fantastic voyage to the sacred and profane”, with the added plus of its location: an Islamic cave from the 10th century.

El Greco Museum

It was already there before the anniversary of the fourth centenary of the death of Doménikos Theotokópoulos, better known as El Greco (he was of Greek origin), with a content that is fundamental to get to know more about the figure of this artist. Funded by the Spanish Ministry of Culture, the El Greco Museum, located on Paseo del Tránsito, is the only one in Spain that is fully dedicated to the study and diffusion of the works of this artist as well as the influence that his work had in Toledo’s identity in the early 17th century.

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.

A walk through the most ecological side of Toledo

The city of three cultures is much more than just its historical and cultural legacy that it treasures behind its walls, on a hill 100 metres above the Tajo river. That height is what gives it its name, whose meaning in Latin means “lifted up high”. This particular orography, with the river bathing its outskirts, generates spaces with a huge environmental attraction such as the Ecological Trail of Toledo (Senda Ecológica de Toledo), which is 3 miles long.

Toledo, three cultures: the Jewish quarter

One of Toledo’s distinctive features is the superposition of elements corresponding to three different cultures, something present in other Spanish cities throughout history but not as close together as in this Castilian city. Therefore, it is known as the “city of three cultures”, and that is without taking into account the important Visigoth past it had, of which there are barely any remains left.

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.