Toledo with the Monsignor
The Monsignor, Tyler and I went to Toledo today. Like all of my other trips to Toledo, we parked in the parking garage right by the Alcazar. Again, just like always, we went to our favorite coffee cafe, El Foro de Toledo. It is right on Plaza de Zocodover. Since we had arrived at 09:30, we sat at the cafe and had coffee while we were waiting for everything to open.
The first place we went was to the Museo de Santa Cruz. I told the Monsignor I wanted to take him there to see some paintings by el Greco. We went in only to find out the el Greco’s were no longer on display. I was very disappointed. There were still some nice things to see, but I missed the el Greco’s.
We left there and stopped by the tourist information center to pick up some maps. Then we walked down to the Puerta del Sol. It was constructed in the 14th Century. There, Tyler and I sat on a small wall while the Monsignor took some photos. When he came back he said there were some stairs in the tower. We went back and went up the stairs. They took us up to the top of the tower at the Puerta del Sol. It was a nice view from up there. There were around 50 stairs. There should have been more like 100. The rise was about twice what it should have been.
From there we walked to the Roman baths of Square of Amador de los Rios. These are old baths that date back to about the 1st Century A.D.
We then walked to the Iglesia de los Jesuistas (also known as the Iglesia de San Ildefonso). We walked up the stairs to the bell tower, 135 steps.
The view from up there is quite amazing. When we came down the walked to the Primate Cathedral. That refers to the main Cathedral of the area. This is by far the most amazing Cathedral I have ever seen. The Cathedral was begun in 1226. It was finished in 1493. Words cannot do it justice. We went into the Sacristy. Much to our surprise there were numerous paintings by el Greco. It was really amazing to see them all. Some of the vestments in the Sacristy dated from the late 1400’s. It was hard to see all there was in the Cathedral. There were nearly 30 chapels in the Cathedral. They were of various sizes. I think one would have to go there several times to really be able to see it all.
I think the area of the Cathedral that impacted me the most was the Sacristy. It is a collection of five fairly large rooms. One initially enters a Sacristy ante room. From there, one enters the actual Sacristy. This is the room that is just full of paintings by el Greco. It was just amazing. There was a smaller (although it was still quite large) room off of one side of the main Sacristy room. The Monsignor thought that was probably the room used by the Bishop to vest prior to mass.
Off of one end of the “Bishop’s” room was a smaller room in which were displayed items such as miters and crosiers. Off of the side of that room there were various vestments on display. As I noted earlier, some of these dated to the 1480’s.
From the Cathedral we walked to a sidewalk care for lunch. I had cream of asparagus soup.
After lunch we bought tickets for the sightseeing “train”. It is a little tractor that pulls a couple of trailers. It takes tourists around the edge of old town Toledo. After that, we bought some pocket knives and walked back to the car. We arrived back home at about 16:40.