the alcázar & the toledo city tour

Thursday, July 4:  The next place I go on my walking tour is the Alcázar of Toledo, a stone fortification that sits at the highest part of Toledo.

Alcázar of Toledo
Alcázar of Toledo

In the third century, it was used as a Roman palace.  Abd ar-Rahman III built an al-qasr (fortress) here in the 10th century; it was later altered by the Christians, according to Lonely Planet Spain.

It was restored under Charles I and Philip II of Spain in the 1540s. In 1521, Hernan Cortes was received by Charles I at the Alcázar, following Cortes’ conquest of the Aztecs. (Wikipedia: Alcazar of Toledo)

The Alcázar was largely destroyed during the siege of Franco’s forces in 1936 but Franco had it rebuilt and turned into a military museum (Lonely Planet Spain).

inside the military museum of the Alcázar of Toledo
inside the military museum of the Alcázar of Toledo
inside the military museum of the Alcázar of Toledo
inside the military museum of the Alcázar of Toledo

It’s a bit strange going in this place because it’s just a huge military museum.  It’s easy to get lost!  Only when you first enter can you see some excavated ruins.  Otherwise, inside it’s just like any other museum.

Excavations at the Alcázar of Toledo
Excavations at the Alcázar of Toledo

There is no place to climb for a view unless you go through the library entrance and take an elevator up to a small, shabby cafeteria.

I’m not that interested in military history, so I find the whole thing a little disappointing.  My favorite part is taking pictures from the garden outside.

Alcázar of Toledo
Alcázar of Toledo
gardens at the Alcázar of Toledo
gardens at the Alcázar of Toledo
gardens at the Alcázar of Toledo
gardens at the Alcázar of Toledo
gardens at the Alcázar of Toledo
gardens at the Alcázar of Toledo
gardens at the Alcázar of Toledo
gardens at the Alcázar of Toledo
gardens at the Alcázar of Toledo
gardens at the Alcázar of Toledo
gardens at the Alcázar of Toledo
the view to some important-looking building from the Alcázar of Toledo
gardens at the Alcázar of Toledo
gardens at the Alcázar of Toledo
gardens at the Alcázar of Toledo
gardens at the Alcázar of Toledo
gardens at the Alcázar of Toledo
gardens at the Alcázar of Toledo
gardens at the Alcázar of Toledo
gardens at the Alcázar of Toledo
gardens at the Alcázar of Toledo
gardens at the Alcázar of Toledo
gardens at the Alcázar of Toledo
gardens at the Alcázar of Toledo
gardens at the Alcázar of Toledo
gardens at the Alcázar of Toledo
gardens at the Alcázar of Toledo
gardens at the Alcázar of Toledo

After leaving the museum, I get on the hop-on, hop-off Toledo City Tour for 9 euros.  Because of its narrow streets, Toledo is mostly a walking city.  The tour actually takes you out of the city and across the river, the Rio Tajo.  There really are not any real hop-on, hop-off options like in most cities.  The only positive to the tour is that it takes you across the river where you can get some amazing views of the city.

Toledo City Tour
Toledo City Tour
Toledo City Tour
Toledo City Tour

Our first stop on the Toledo City Tour is the train station in Toledo, built in the Neo-Mudéjar architectural style using horseshoe arches and abstract shaped brick ornamentation for the façades.

the Toledo train station
the Toledo train station
Toledo train station
Toledo train station
Toledo train station
Toledo train station

We then cross over the Rio Tajo.

Rio Tajo
Rio Tajo
Rio Tajo with the Alcázar of Toledo on its banks
Rio Tajo with the Alcázar of Toledo on its banks

We can see fabulous views of the Alcázar and Toledo’s skyline, including the Cathedral.

the Alcázar
the Alcázar
Rio Tajo
Rio Tajo
Catedral de Toledo
Catedral de Toledo
Cathedral
Cathedral
Rio Tajo
Rio Tajo
The Catedral and Alcázar
The Catedral and Alcázar
Catedral de Toledo
Catedral de Toledo
the Alcázar
the Alcázar
the Alcázar
the Alcázar
the Alcázar
the Alcázar
the Alcázar
the Alcázar
the Alcázar
the Alcázar
views of Toledo
views of Toledo
views of Toledo
views of Toledo
views of Toledo
views of Toledo
views of hillside homes in Toledo
views of hillside homes in Toledo
views of hillside homes in Toledo
views of hillside homes in Toledo

We can also see the San Juan de los Reyes Franciscan Monastery.

a view of San Juan de los Reyes Franciscan monastery
a view of San Juan de los Reyes Franciscan monastery
bridge over Rio Tajo
bridge over Rio Tajo
bridge over Rio Tajo
bridge over Rio Tajo
bridge over Rio Tajo
bridge over Rio Tajo
bridge over Rio Tajo
bridge over Rio Tajo
Views of Toledo
Views of Toledo

After I hop off the bus tour, I head through the streets of the city in search of the Catedral de Toledo.

13 thoughts on “the alcázar & the toledo city tour

  1. wow, wow, wow! stunning photos! I had no idea there were gardens at the alcazar! the things I learn on the internet.🙂 another of my favorite cities in Spain…I’ve been many times. it’s a bit more hilly now than when I was a student in Madrid😀

    1. Thanks so much, Toby. I’m glad you enjoy my pictures. I have fun taking them! Haha about it being more hilly than when you were a student; I’m sure it seems that way, and it definitely seemed awfully hilly to me with my aching knees!

  2. Yes, I agree that those gardens are much more interesting than the Military Museum, Cathy🙂 You got some lovely shots of them, and of the river too. Definitely looks like a place I might like. And I just discovered something! Looking at my trusty map I realised that the Rio Tejo becomes the Tajo when it crosses the border from Portugal into Spain.

    1. Yes, Jo, that Military Museum was HUGE and quite boring, at least in my book. I guess if you’re a military history buff, it might be a great place to spend an afternoon. Interesting about the Rio Tejo becoming the Tajo in Portugal. See what you can learn in a day?🙂

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