The Spanish Language Blog

Toledo is the capital of the Castile-La Mancha region of central Spain and is located 70 kilometers south of Madrid. Toledo is also on UNESCO's World Heritage List due to its rich history and diversity of cultures.

Toledo was the capital of Spain until 1561 and is still considered one of the most important cities of the Spanish church today. The city is also known for its many daggers and swords that you will find all over the city. Toledo is also the city of El Greco, a famous painter.

Ancient Toledo was owned by the Romans who called the city Toletum until 192 B.C. Furthermore, Toledo was also part of the Visigoths from 534 to 712 A.D. In Moorish times, 712 to 1085 A.D. the city was called Tolaitola. After this time, Toledo experienced a prosperous time through the silk and wool industry and also through arms manufacturing.

Although Toledo is not a large area, it is an important hub economically and socially. The city is rich in culture and Spanish history. Toledo can also be easily visited on foot. All sights, monuments, museums and other places of interest are close together. However, it is advisable to wear good shoes or sturdy slippers since, as in all other cities in Spain, the streets are usually lined with small stones.

Toledo is generally known as "The City of Three Cultures." This is because Christian, Muslim and hebrew cultures lived within the city walls and this has left its mark on the city. This is particularly evident in the extraordinary architecture where all three cultures come together and give it its own personality.

During the Spanish Civil War, Toledo became truly famous for the siege of the Alcázar. At the beginning of the Spanish Civil War, the siege of the Alcázar of Toledo took place, this was an important military confrontation between opponents and supporters of Francisco Franco. From July 21 to Sept. 27, 1936, the city of Toledo and particularly the Alcázar was besieged by citizens loyal to the leftist government. The Alcázar was defended by Colonel José Moscardó. On July 25, the besiegers captured Colonel Moscardó's son, Luis, and wanted to kill him if the Alcázar did not surrender within ten minutes. The colonel asked his son on the phone to address him, telling him, "Dedicate your soul to God and cry loudly Long live Christ King! Long live Spain!" The son replied, "That is something I can accomplish!" After this refusal to surrender, the son was bloody murdered a month later. On Sept. 27, after two months of siege, the Alcázar was unseated by Franco.

Toledo's rich history in particular makes it a wonderful city to visit. Transportation to Toledo is easy from Madrid. It is definitely worth visiting Toledo once if you get the chance. After all, you can really enjoy walking in this city!     

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