A Rainy Day in Toledo

Just an hour drive from Madrid lies the little fairytale town of Toledo. The city is almost entirely made of stone and is surrounded by a large wall and cliffs that make it seem like it could be the home to any Disney princess.IMG_4692.jpg(Fairytale land or Toledo?)

It reminded me of the Spanish version of Bath, except a tad more romantic and a tad more diverse. But the uniformity and closeness really brought me back to my adventures in Bath last spring.IMG_4624.jpg(The streets of Toledo)

Perhaps one of the most notable buildings in Toledo is the Cathedral. What’s interesting about this city is how it was home to the three faiths: Islam, Christianity and Judaism. It is a city where all three religions got a long and were greatly influenced by each other, especially when it came to architecture. The Cathedral is gigantic and was built on the sight where Mary is believed to have appeared in the 13th century. In fact, the stone where her feet are said to have landed is still in the church today. Apparently, if you kiss the stone and have faith, it will bring you a boyfriend (we all kissed it)! IMG_4632.jpg(The stone where Mary’s feet touched!)

A part from the stone, the church also has a very impressive altarpiece. Even after seeing many impressive altarpieces, I think this one was the most beautiful. The one in Sevilla had too much gold and was a bit hard to focus on. This one told the stories of the Bible beautifully had many beautiful colors. IMG_4639.jpg(My favorite altar so far! I love all the colors)

After the Cathedral (and lunch) we headed to the most famous temple in Toledo. Walking through the Jewish quarter was so cool. Both on the streets and in the temple I felt very connected to my Jewish roots and could not help thinking about my paternal grandparents who I suddenly missed very much. Walking through the temple I had a sense of pride for my Jewish heritage and greatly enjoyed explaining many of the customs and traditions of the Jewish faith to my friends. I truly think my grandparents were with me in that moment.IMG_4665.jpg(Walking through the Jewish quarter)IMG_4669.jpg(On the ground were small symbols of the Jewish faith. Finding them was like a treasure hunt!)

A part from my personal experience in the temple, the temple itself also had beautiful architecture. Although more simple than the mosque and the cathedral that we visited, the front of the temple was decorated in beautiful detail that was very reminiscent of the Arab style. It was cool to see the influence of the Muslim faith on the Jewish temple.IMG_4679.jpg(Front of the temple. Very similar to the type of designs we saw at Alhambra!)

 

 

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