Cathedral of Toledo – Once the Spiritual Centre of the Spanish Church:
One of the things to do before arriving at the old town of Toledo is to stop across the River Tagus and enjoy an impressive view the city sited on a hill. Even from this distance, the tower of the Cathedral of Toledo is prominent, rising above the rooftops of this medieval city.
The Cathedral of Toledo (Catedral Primada Toledo) is huge and its imposing size is a reflection of the historical importance of Toledo and the Cathedral as the spiritual centre of the Spanish church and the seat of the Primate of Spain.
A Brief History of Toledo Cathedral
The Toledo Cathedral is one of the three 13th century High Gothic cathedrals in Spain and is considered to be the height of the Gothic style in Spain. The site on which the Cathedral was built was previously a Visigoth Cathedral in the sixth century and which had been used as a mosque. With papal permission, the Mozarabic Mass, dating back to Visigothic times, is still said here today.
Construction of Toledo Cathedral begun in 1227 under the rule of Ferdinand III and work lasted for three centuries. As a result of the lengthy construction period, a mixture of architectural styles can be observed. Constructed in a pure French Gothic with flying buttresses on the exterior, it has Spanish decorative styles on the interior with Mudejar and Plateresque work.
The Cathedral measures 120 m long by 60 m wide and its five naves are supported by 88 pillars and 72 vaults. There are eight chapels and just as many museums in the Cathedral. The Cathedral’s collection of paintings is also important, especially the excellent collection kept in the Sacristy.
Cathedral’s Star Attractions
- The Choir – Believed to be one of the most beautiful of all European churches.
- The High Altar Reredos – The Reredos depicts scenes from Christ’s life and is one of the most beautiful in Spain
- The Sacristy – this entire room is an authentic art gallery with paintings from master painters like El Greco, Caravaggio, Tiziano, Van Dick, Orrente, Tristán, Goya, Morales and José Ramos.
- The Transparente – This Baroque altar piece made of marble, jasper and bronze is a contrast to the Gothic architecture.
To thoroughly explore this amazing Cathedral, one needs a few hours which we did not have time to do on our quick Toledo tour. This is one more reason to come back to Toledo.
Opening Hours are generally from 08:00 – 18:30 (08:30 – 17:30 from October to June), but do check the Cathedral website for opening times of specific sections.
Calle Cardenal Cisneros 1
Tel: +34 925 222 241
Map of Toledo: