travel and life with lee mylne

Holy Toledo!

“Holy Toledo!”  Have you ever wondered how that saying came into being?  I’ve always thought it had something to do with Toledo, Ohio, in the United States (although I’m not sure why) – and there’s one school of thought that does think that. But having just been on a trip to Toledo, Spain, I reckon it’s a truly literal saying. Toledo is definitely a city steeped in religious symbolism.

DSC_0601Spain may be constitutionally a secular society, but the reality is that more than 70 per cent of the population is Catholic. But as any tour of Spain will teach you, there’s been a strong Muslim, Jewish and Moorish influence on the country over the course of its diverse history, and many religious buildings have changed hands (or denominations) over the centuries. Toledo is no exception.

The sepia-toned World Heritage-listed town  sits high above the River Tagus, and is dominated by the 16th century Alcazar fortress. Toledo was Spain’s capital until 1561, when Philip II moved it to Madrid.

Toledo is an attractive city, about 45 minutes drive south of Madrid, and well worth a day trip. Be prepared for some serious walking, as that’s the best way to discover the cobblestone alleys and back streets of the Old Town.

After a quick lunch – one of the best tapas meals I had while in Spain – in a little bar just off the main square, we set off to check out some of the city’s historic attractions, including the 13th century Gothic cathedral, and in the Jewish Quarter, Spain’s oldest synagogue, dating back to the 12th century, now owned by the Catholic Church.

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A Glass Half Full travelled to Spain as a guest of Globus.

6 Responses to “Holy Toledo!”

  1. Ruth Holmes

    Thanks for your tour of Toledo ….it brought back memories of my trip there in 1965.! Doesn’t look as though it has changed much since then….We spent a month in Spain & Portugal, the sunshine & beaches made me homesick after the dull skies & woolies weather in northern Europe.
    from Ruth from Dorrigo

  2. Rod and Ruth

    Hola Lee,

    All the best on your new venture. I’m really enjoying your blogs from Spain. I just loved the countryside with all those olive groves, the beaches of Malaga, wonderful architecture and soaking up the art of those famous artists. I also enjoyed the theatre of the bull fight when a famous matador was in the ring, but didn’t like the scene with a less skilled matador…I wouldn’t go now.

    Looks like another beautiful day in “Don”Dorrigo. We are still trying to find out if it is named after the Spanish connection!

    Adios Ruth Holmes

  3. Skate808

    If you’re looking to visit Toledo on a budget you should definitely check out Be Your Guide Toledo, a mobile device application (aplicaciones desarrollo) that was developed specifically for the city of Toledo! It’s free to download in the app store and is the only one of its kind on the market. Being from the city of Toledo themselves, Nexora Solutions felt that this would be a great opportunity to share the wealth our city has to offer the world. It works offline too, so even if you’re traveling and don’t have an international plan you can use all of the features. It also provides user reviews of local pubs and restaurants to ensure that you have the best experience possible.

    Check out the full features at !


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