Toledo Cathedral

Toledo, Spain

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 Cathedral, although its five naves plan is a consequence of the constructors' intention to cover all of the sacred space of the former city mosque with the cathedral, and of the former sahn with the cloister. It also combines some characteristics of the Mudéjar style, mainly in the cloister, with the presence of multifoiled arches in the triforium. The spectacular incorporation of light and the structural achievements of the ambulatory vaults are some of its more remarkable aspects.

The polychromatic stained glass windows date back to the 14th-16th centuries. The altarpiece in the main chapel has five sections, depicting scenes from the New Testament, along with life-sized polychromatic sculptures made of gilded wood. It was commissioned by Cardinal Cisneros and made between 1497 and 1504. The 15th century Santiago Chapel, has a flamboyant Gothic style and houses the sarcophagi of Alvaro de Luna and his wife Juana de Pimentel. The impressive choir is considered as one of the grandest in all Christendom. The grille that surrounds the choir is by Domingo de Cespedes. The lower choir stalls were begun in the 15th century depicting scenes of the surrender of cities and fortresses up until the conquest of Granada. The upper choir stalls are made up of 72 ceremonial chairs that were designed by Alonso de Berruguete and Felipe Vigarni, in the 16th century.

The so called 'Ochavo' is a large sumptuous room from the 16th century dedicated to the martyrs and witnesses of Christ, housing invaluable works of art, such as the reliquary of San Luis, a bust of St. John the Baptist and the cross of Cardinal Mendoza. It is possible to view works by Lucas Jordan and el Greco in the main sacristy.



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Founded: 1226-1493
Category: Religious sites in Spain


4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Clara Song (35 days ago)
Beautiful cathedral! Definitely recommend bringing earphones and purchase data roaming to listen to the narration. I thought it was a bit expensive for not including headphones and narration but still beautiful.
Tina Fisher (2 months ago)
Magnificent! It was such an amazing experience to walk through this cathedral and admire such beautiful craftsmanship. The beauty in every inch is beyond words. Not to mention the feeling you experience while enjoying your surroundings.
Rochell Bonamy (3 months ago)
Such details. It's actually a historical museum rich in art, religion, and culture. Ana, our guide, was very energetic, engaging and informative. Highly recommended. Restroom is located outside. It is dirty. Plan accordingly. :(
Baiba Grazdina (4 months ago)
This cathedral makes the visit to Taledo a must. Don’t miss it. An easy train ride from Madrid and then taxi up the hill. The art work is beyond impressive and best seen in person. Plan to spend at least 2-3 hours here. The tickets are reasonable and audio guide is free and HIGHLY recommended.
B Schmidt (5 months ago)
I visited this Cathedral in June and stunning in all facets. I was amazed by its history and it is one of the most impressive Gothic cathedrals I have ever seen. The main facade is impressive, with portals decorated with sculptures and paintings. The interior is spacious and there is much light, with many stained glass windows, paintings, and sculptures to enjoy while walking through. The cathedral happens to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
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