Attractions in Spain

Holy Toledo!—Attractions in Spain's Former Capital

Toledo from afar / Toledo desde lejosThe Alcázar, as seen from afar

Walking up one of Toledo’s many hills to the city entrance

Trees are beginning to bloom

From San Ildefonso’s mirador de las Torres, one can see all of Toledo.

Located at the highest point in Toledo and once used as a Roman palace, the alcázar was held by the Nationalists under great siege by the Republican army. Today it is the site of the Army Museum.

Toledo entrance / Entrando en Toledo

Have you heard of Los Reyes Católicos? If not, you must not have visited many places in Spain, because they are everywhere. The Catholic monarchs, Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile, are often credited with the unification of Spain after the Reconquista.

Isabella and Ferdinand built this monastery to celebrate the birth of their son and their victory in an important battle. It was initially meant to be their eventual mausoleum, but they changed their mind and were later buried in Granada.

Of course, Isabella and Ferdinand had a motto: Tanto monta, monta tanto, Isabel como Fernando. What it means: Isabella and Ferdinand were equals. All along the ceilings in San Juan de los Reyes, you can find their initials (F for Fernando and Y for Isabel, as Y was used in the old Spanish).

The Tagus River is the longest in the Iberian peninsula, beginning in central Spain and emptying into the Atlantic ocean near Lisbon, Portugal. Its impact can be heard in Portuguese songs and stories: “My hair getting white, the Tagus is always young.”

Toledo will always have a special place in my heart. I studied abroad there as a 21-year-old junior in college, and its narrow streets hold a mystique that hasn’t been diminished by the years. I still love wandering in and out of shops, catching a glimpse of the Middle Ages or the Renaissance or the Gothic. I love hearing the cathedral bells chimes, eating marzipan, and wondering at the beauty of a city quite unchanged by the passage of time.

Flowering trees Toledo / Árbol floreciendo Toledo Cristo de la Luz Museum Toledo / Museo de Cristo de la Luz Santa Cruz Museum Toledo / Museo de Santa Cruz Toledo Iglesia de San Ildefonso (Los Jesuitas)
Frommers Frommer's Spain 2010 (Frommer's Complete Guides)
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I loved Spain

by medfordtraveler

I would choose Spain if I deciding between the two because I had more fun there and met more interesting people. That is just my opinion because I loved dancing on the beach and having the night life and the great architecture and museums during the day. It also depends on what time of year you are traveling. In the winter or earlier spring I recommend Spain because it should be nicer weather in Southern Spain. In the end it is your decision but I also wouldn't go to both countries because I think it is great to explore the smaller towns and cities and not just the largest tourist attractions.

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