Day 9: Holy Toledo!

The Cathedral of Toledo is one of the world’s greats. It is a high Gothic cathedral which took more than 250 years to build (1226-1493). There are five naves, a transept, and a double ambulatory (passageways behind the main altar). The interior is grand and lofty. There is beauty all around. Upon entering these medieval cathedrals and churches, I always imagine myself to be an average peasant of the times, overwhelmed with the immense size and beauty which transports me to heavenly places. In addition to the magnificent church interior ringed by beautiful chapels, the art contained within would make any museum happy. After sleeping in a little on this morning, we visited just before lunch. Enjoy our photos of this great church!

Toledo Cathedral at Night

Toledo Cathedral at Night

Interior Toledo Cathedral

Interior Toledo Cathedral

Choir exterior, Organ, Interior

Choir exterior, Organ, Interior

A look at the high altar through the wrought-iron grille

A look at the high altar through the wrought-iron grille

Oldest stained-glass window in the Cathedral

Oldest stained-glass window in the Cathedral

The impressive gold on wood altarpiece of the high altar.

The impressive gold on wood altarpiece of the high altar.

Notice the central scenes on the high altarpiece.  Below - The nativity; Central - The assumption of Mary; Above - The crucifixion with the 9 ft. tall Christ

Notice the central scenes on the high altarpiece. Below – The nativity; Central – The assumption of Mary; Above – The crucifixion with the 9 ft. tall Christ

One of the many side-chapels in the cathedral

One of the many side-chapels in the cathedral

The Baroque altarpiece beneath the Transparente (a unique hole cut into the ceiling to allow light into the Cathedral)

The Baroque altarpiece beneath the Transparente (a unique hole cut into the ceiling to allow light into the Cathedral)

Looking into the Sacristy.  The art on its walls is like a mini-Prado with several masterpieces.

Looking into the Sacristy. The art on its walls is like a mini-Prado with several masterpieces.

El Greco's "Spoilation" (Christ being stripped of his garments).  His first masterpiece after arrival in Toledo.  Displayed in the room where priests prepared themselves for the mass.

El Greco’s “Spoilation” (Christ being stripped of his garments). His first masterpiece after arrival in Toledo. Displayed in the room where priests prepared themselves for the mass.

Goya's Betrayal of Christ

Goya’s Betrayal of Christ

El Greco's St. Joseph and the Christ Child

El Greco’s St. Joseph and the Christ Child

Titian's Paul III

Titian’s Paul III

Rafael's The Virgin of the Veil

Rafael’s The Virgin of the Veil

Cindy before El Greco's Crucifixion

Cindy before El Greco’s Crucifixion

A view over the choir toward the apse, from the back of the nave

A view over the choir toward the apse, from the back of the nave

Inside the choir.  The lower carved, wooden stalls have scenes from the reconquista on them, each with the name of a town which was reconquered, culminating in the final victory at Granada

Inside the choir. The lower carved, wooden stalls have scenes from the reconquista on them, each with the name of a town which was reconquered, culminating in the final victory at Granada

Another beautiful El Greco

Another beautiful El Greco

After touring the church, we had lunch at the Platea restaurant, not far from the Cathedral. Then we made our way across the old town to the Santa Cruz Museum which has several of El Greco’s works among its collection. The museum is housed in what was originally the Holy Cross Hospital, established by Cardinal Mendoza as a charitable institution for the care of the sick, old and poor. I was disappointed that El Greco’s The Veil of Saint Veronica was away in Germany, but a highlight was El Greco’s Immaculate Conception of Mary.

El Greco's Assumption of Mary (or Immaculate Conception), depending on your source,   in the Santa Cruz Museum

El Greco’s Assumption of Mary (or Immaculate Conception), depending on your source, in the Santa Cruz Museum

A wing of the Santa Cruz Museum

A wing of the Santa Cruz Museum

By the time we made it back to our hotel, the sun was setting, the wind had picked up, and we were pretty chilly. This would be our last night in Toledo. Tomorrow, we head further southward.

The birthday girls found Santa Claus on the streets of Toledo!

The birthday girls found Santa Claus on the streets of Toledo!

The Toledo "Supermoon" from our hotel window

The Toledo “Supermoon” from our hotel window

4 thoughts on “Day 9: Holy Toledo!

  1. Absolutely amazing, beautiful….how did they manage to build such wonderful buildiings in the 1300—-1500’s ????? No wonder it took centuries to build. !!!

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