Top Historic Sights in Toledo, Spain

Explore the historic highlights of Toledo

Toledo Cathedral

The Primate Cathedral of Saint Mary of Toledo is one of the three 13th-century High Gothic cathedrals in Spain and is considered to be the masterpiece of the Gothic style in Spain. It was begun in 1226 under the rule of Ferdinand III and the last Gothic contributions were made in 1493 when the vaults of the central nave were finished during the time of the Catholic Monarchs. It was modeled after the Bourges Cathed ...
Founded: 1226-1493 | Location: Toledo, Spain

Historic City of Toledo

Successively a Roman municipium, the capital of the Visigothic Kingdom, a fortress of the Emirate of Cordoba, an outpost of the Christian kingdoms fighting the Moors and, in the 16th century, the temporary seat of supreme power under Charles V, Toledo is the repository of more than 2,000 years of history. Its masterpieces are the product of heterogeneous civilizations in an environment where the existence of three major r ...
Founded: around 200 BC | Location: Toledo, Spain

Cave of Hercules

The Cave of Hercules is a subterranean vaulted space dating back to Roman times located in the alley of San Ginés. The cave is under the Church of San Ginés. The structure was likely constructed in the time of the Roman Empire, probably towards the second half of the 1st century, when it was used as a water reservoir. It is located in the east corner of the current courtyard and was built in two construction phase ...
Founded: 0-100 AD | Location: Toledo, Spain

Santa Cruz Museum

The Museum of Santa Cruz was an important hospital which was converted into a museum in the 19th century. The hospital was founded by Cardinal Mendoza at the end of the 15th century to centralize assistance to orphaned and abandoned children in the city. It has a remarkable Plateresque portal, work of Alonso de Covarrubias. The building has a Greek cross plant and four courtyards, two of which were completely completed ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Toledo, Spain

Iglesia de Santiago del Arrabal

Santiago del Arrabal was built in 1245-1248 at the orders of Sancho II on the site of an older church and a mosque that is known to have been used since 1125. Many characteristics of the mosque have remained in the present building which is built in the Mudéjar architectural style. The church is named after Saint James (Santiago) of the outskirts (Arrabal). The patrons of the church during its foundation were members ...
Founded: 1245-1248 | Location: Toledo, Spain

Puerta de Bisagra

The Puerta de Bisagra s an ancient city gate in Toledo. The structure was constructed in the 10th century, in the time of the Moorish Taifa of Toledo in Islamic Al-Andalus. It is also called 'Bisagra Antigua' to distinguish it from the Puerta de Bisagra Nueva which was built in 1559. The gate was the main entrance to the city and dates from the Moorish period.
Founded: 10th century | Location: Toledo, Spain

Monastery of San Juan de los Reyes

The Monastery of San Juan de los Reyes was founded by King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile to commemorate both the birth of their son, Prince John, and their victory at the Battle of Toro (1476) over the army of Afonso V of Portugal. Toledo was chosen as the site for building the monastery due to its central geographic location and because it had been the capital of the ancient Visigoth kin ...
Founded: 1477 | Location: Toledo, Spain

Santa María la Blanca Synagogue

The Synagogue of Santa María la Blanca  was erected in 1180, according to an inscription on a beam, it is disputably considered the oldest synagogue building in Europe still standing. It is now owned and preserved by the Catholic Church. Its stylistic and cultural classification is unique among surviving buildings as it was constructed under the Christian Kingdom of Castile by Islamic architects for Jewish use. It ...
Founded: 1180 | Location: Toledo, Spain

Puerta de Bisagra Nueva

The Puerta de Bisagra Nueva ('The New Bisagra Gate') is the best known city gate of Toledo. The gate is of Moorish origin, but the main part was built in 1559 by Alonso de Covarrubias. It carries the coat of arms of the emperor Charles V. It superseded the Puerta Bisagra Antigua as the main entrance to the city.
Founded: 1559 | Location: Toledo, Spain

Alcázar of Toledo

The Alcázar of Toledo was originally a Roman palace from the 3rd century, but it was restored under Charles I (Holy Roman Emperor Charles V) and his son Philip II of Spain in the 1540s. In 1521, Hernán Cortés was received by Charles I at the Alcázar, following Cortes" conquest of the Aztecs. The façades are Renaissance in style, and it has towers and crenellated defences according to a preliminary des ...
Founded: 1540s | Location: Toledo, Spain

San Idelfonso Church

The Iglesia de San Idelfonso is a Baroque style church located in the center of the historic city of Toledo. Its construction took more than 100 years. Work began in 1629 on lands acquired by the Jesuits of Toledo in 1569. It was the birthplace of Saint Ildefonsus. Its approach followed the example of the Jesuit churches of Palencia and Alcalá de Henares and that of the Church of the Gesù, in Rome. It is t ...
Founded: 1629-1718 | Location: Toledo, Spain

Fuensalida Palace

The Palace of Fuensalida was built at the end of the first half of the 15th century by Pedro López de Ayala, the first lord of Fuensalida, is the best palace exponent of the Toledan Mudéjar, a historical typology that is scarce in Toledo built heritage, where merge three styles: Gothic, Plateresque and Mudéjar. It is integrated in a big block, which also includes the Taller del Moro and the Iglesia de Santo Tomé, w ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Toledo, Spain

Santo Tomé Church

The Iglesia de Santo Tomé is a church located in the historical center of the Toledo, and was founded after the reconquest of this city by King Alfonso VI of León. It appears quoted in the 12th century, as constructed on the site of an old mosque of the 11th century. This mosque, together with other mosques in the city, were used as Christian churches without major changes, since in the taking of the city there was n ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Toledo, Spain

Puerta del Cambrón

The Puerta del Cambrón is a city gate located in the west sector of Toledo. It was last reconstructed in 1576. Of Renaissance style, has two pairs of towers and two arches, being built of stone and brick. Hernán González and Diego de Velasco, as well as Juan Bautista Monegro would sculpt a figure of Leocadia in the gate.
Founded: 1576 | Location: Toledo, Spain

Synagogue of El Transito

The Synagogue of El Transito is famous for its rich stucco decoration, which bears comparison with the Alcazar of Seville and the Alhambra palaces in Granada. It was founded as a synagogue by Samuel ha-Levi Abulafia, Treasurer to Peter of Castile, in about 1356. The founder was a member of a family that had served the Castilian kings for several generations and included kabbalists and Torah scholars such as Meir and ...
Founded: c. 1356 | Location: Toledo, Spain

El Greco Museum

The El Greco Museum celebrates the mannerist painter El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos, 1541–1614), who spent much of his life in Toledo, having been born in Fodele, Crete. The museum opened in 1911 and is located in the Jewish Quarter of Toledo. It consists of two buildings, a 16th-century house with a courtyard and an early 20th century building forming the museum, together with a garden. The house recreate ...
Founded: 1911 | Location: Toledo, Spain

Mosque of Cristo de la Luz

The Mosque of Cristo de la Luz is a former mosque in Toledo. It is the only one of ten that once existed in the city that remains largely as it was in the Moorish period. Legend has it that a shaft of light guided the king to a figurine of the crucified Christ that had been hidden for centuries. He left his shield there with the inscription, 'This is the shield which the King Alfonso VI left in this chapel whe ...
Founded: 999 AD | Location: Toledo, Spain

San Román Church

The Iglesia de San Román is located in one of the highest and privileged places of Toledo. There is already documents of the parish in the 12th century and the church would be consecrated in 1221 by the archbishop Rodrigo Ximénez de Rada. The tradition indicates that in it was crowned king to Alfonso VIII of Castile the August 26 of 1166. The church presents floor plan with three naves, separated by horsesho ...
Founded: 1221 | Location: Toledo, Spain

Puente de Alcántara

The Puente de Alcántara is a Roman arch bridge in Toledo, spanning the Tagus River. The word Alcántara comes from Arabic القنطرة (al-qanţarah), which means 'bridge'. Located at the feet of the Castillo de San Servando, the bridge was originally built by the Romans after they founded the city. It was rebuilt by in the 9th and later in the 13th century by Alfonso X el Sabio. In the Middle ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Toledo, Spain

Puente de San Martín

Puente de San Martín bridge was constructed in the late 14th century by archbishop Pedro Tenorio to provide access to the old town from the west, complementing the older Puente de Alcántara linking to the east. Both sides of the bridge were heavily fortified with towers, the more recent dating from the 16th century. The Puente de San Martín features five arches, with the largest in the middle reaching an impre ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Toledo, Spain

San Servando Castle

Evidence exists of an ancient monastery on the site of San Servando castle, possibly founded in the 7th century. In 1080, Cardinal Richard of St. Victor, a monk of the ancient Abbey of St. Victor in Marseille, was sent as the legate of Pope Gregory VII to the Council of Burgos held that year. One of his mandates was to ensure the adoption of the Roman Rite, replacing the ancient Mozarabic Rite used by the Chr ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Toledo, Spain

City walls of Toledo

Toledo was walled by Romans, and a lot of its stones were reused later in built walls, as the original perimeter was subsequently tripled. The Visigothic King Wamba renewed the Roman fortifications, sculpting in its gates an inscriptions. The inscriptions were destroyed by the Muslims, and restored in 1575 by the Corregidor Juan Gutiérrez Tello. The Arabs widened the city and the walls. After the Reconquista, the ...
Founded: 0-100 AD | Location: Toledo, Spain

Monastery of Saint Dominic of Silos

The Monastery of Saint Dominic of Silos (the Old) (Monasterio de Santo Domingo de Silos el Antiguo) is a Cistercian monastery in Toledo. It was first founded in the 6th century and rebuilt in 1085 by Pedro Alcocer during the reign of Alfonso VI of Leon and Castille. It underwent major rebuilding work in the second half of the 16th century, in which the mudéjar church was demolished. The new building was begun by Ni ...
Founded: 1085 | Location: Toledo, Spain

Hospital de Tavera

The Hospital de Tavera is an important Building of Renaissance style in Toledo. It was built between 1541 and 1603 by order of the Cardinal Tavera. This hospital is dedicated to John the Baptist and also served as pantheon for its patron, Cardinal Tavera. Initially it began to be constructed under the supervision of Alonso de Covarrubias, being succeeded by other architects and finishing the work Bartolomé Bustaman ...
Founded: 1541-1603 | Location: Toledo, Spain

Cerro del Bú

Predating Roman Toledo, this small but steep hill on the less populated side of the Río Tajo is sprinkled with Bronze Age remains overlain with vestiges of a 10th-century Moorish fort. A path leads down from the main road where there’s an explanatory board and site map. It’s best integrated into a visit to the Mirador del Valle viewpoint nearby.
Founded: 10th century | Location: Toledo, Spain

Baños de Tenerías

The Baños de Tenerías were a public bath. It is believed that these were built at the beginning of the 11th century, when Spain was under Moorish rule, and was one of the six Arab baths in the city. These offered the possibility of make purification baths for access to the Al-Dabbagin Mosque (the current church iglesia de San Sebastián). It is divided into the living room bayt al-mash, the latrines, the cold room ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Toledo, Spain

Roman Circus

The Roman Circus of Toledo was built during the 1st century, during the mandate of the emperor Augustus or the emperor Tiberius. Possibly, its construction was included within the plan that the emperor undertook by all the Empire to endow to all the great cities of public buildings, like thermaes, theaters, amphitheaters, or forums, with the aim of promoting the Romanization in these zones. In particular, the ...
Founded: 0-100 AD | Location: Toledo, Spain

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Kisimul Castle

Dating from the 15th century, Kisimul is the only significant surviving medieval castle in the Outer Hebrides. It was the residence of the chief of the Macneils of Barra, who claimed descent from the legendary Niall of the Nine Hostages. Tradition tells of the Macneils settling in Barra in the 11th century, but it was only in 1427 that Gilleonan Macneil comes on record as the first lord. He probably built the castle that dominates the rocky islet, and in its shadow a crew house for his personal galley and crew. The sea coursed through Macneil veins, and a descendant, Ruari ‘the Turbulent’, was arrested for piracy of an English ship during King James VI’s reign in the later 16th century.

Heavy debts eventually forced the Macneil chiefs to sell Barra in 1838. However, a descendant, Robert Lister Macneil, the 45th Chief, repurchased the estate in 1937, and set about restoring his ancestral seat. It passed into Historic Scotland’s care in 2000.

The castle dates essentially from the 15th century. It takes the form of a three-storey tower house. This formed the residence of the clan chief. An associated curtain wall fringed the small rock on which the castle stood, and enclosed a small courtyard in which there are ancillary buildings. These comprised a feasting hall, a chapel, a tanist’s house and a watchman’s house. Most were restored in the 20th century, the tanist’s house serving as the family home of the Macneils. A well near the postern gate is fed with fresh water from an underground seam. Outside the curtain wall, beside the original landing-place, are the foundations of the crew house, where the sailors manning their chief’s galley had their quarters.