Category Archives: Castile La Mancha / Castilla La Mancha

Alcázar de Toledo / Alcazar of Toledo

army museum square

The Alcazar of Toledo (Alcázar de Toledo) is an ancient stone-made fortification located uptown the Old City of Toledo, in Castile La Mancha region. The Alcazar is one of the icons of the city, which is visited for thousands of people every year.


About Toledo city

Toledo was the capital of Spain in the 16th century. Although, the history of the city began many centuries before, with the Celtic civilization.

Toledo has been habited by Romans, Goths, Muslims, Jewish and Christians. Currently, the city has around 80.000 inhabitants and is one of the main destinations for tourists who visit the centre of Spain.


The history of the Alcazar

alcazarThe Alcazar of Toledo was built initially in the third century A.D. by the Roman Empire. At first it was used as a palace, but some centuries later the building complex was restored by Alfonso VI, Alfonso XI and extended by King Carlos I of Spain and V of Germany in 1534, among others. The construction of the current building was ordered by King Carlos V in the 16th century, who got it built over the rests of the previous medieval castle.

The fortification has been modified and reconstructed many times and has been used for multiple purposes: A palace, a fortification, a King’s residence, a prison and a military headquarters, among others.

During the 20th century Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), the Alcazar of Toledo was occupied by the Nationalist Rebel Franco forces, and was attacked and destroyed by the Republican forces in the famous “Siege of the Alcázar”. After the civil war, the reconstruction of the building complex started in 1940.


The Army Museum (Museo del Ejército)

museo del ejercitoNowadays The Alcazar has an Army Museum inside. The people who enjoy seeing military museums will be able to discover the following areas: models, firearms, knives, uniforms, military orders and other documents.
The building also has a crypt and is the home of the Regional Library of Castile La Mancha.



More Popular places to visit in Toledo

What to visit in Toledo: Discover the most ancient and touristic places to see in Toledo, as the Old Town, the Cathedral (Catedral de Santa María de Toledo), the Synagogue (Sinagoga del Transito) or the The Greco Museum.

Castile la Mancha: Read here all our posts of this regions, including cities as Toledo or Cuenca.

Barrio de San Martín (Cuenca) / St. Martin Neighborhood: The Old Town of Cuenca


Cuenca is a Spanish city located in the central zone of the country, between Madrid and Valencia. Founded on the 8th century, nowadays it has around 50,000 inhabitants and it is virtually divided in two zones: the old town (uptown the city) and the modern city beside it.

To walk from the modern part of the city to the Old Town can be described as an inexplicable sensation. Step by step, when you up the slopes and the streets becomes more and more narrow, you start to feel that the 21th century disappear and you come back to a medieval age where the traditional buildings and the nature is present everywhere.


St. Martin Neighborhood (Barrio de San Martín) and the Old Town of Cuenca

barrio de san martin cuencaSt. Martin Neighborhood is a popular zone of Cuenca where the time have been stopped long time ago. It is placed in the top of the city, and is full of narrow streets and traditional buildings. Probably, its most famous picture is the views of its balconies, from where you can see a sensational landscape of the city.

In St. Martin Neighborhood and its surroundings, you will find many interesting places to visit:

– Alfonso VII Street, with ends in the Main Square (Plaza Mayor), where is placed the The Cathedral of Cuenca.

– The cathedral (Catedral de Santa María y San Julián de Cuenca): The Cuenca’s Cathedral is in the Main Square, uptown the city. It was built between the 12th and 14th centuries.

– The hanged houses (Casas colgantes): The hanged houses are the most touristic monuments of Cuenca. They are placed at the beginning of the Old Town, in a slope called Hoz del Huécar. Long time ago all the ravine had houses hanged, but nowadays remains only three of them.  Don’t leave St. Martin Neighborhood without taking a photo of the Hanged Houses!

In the area are also placed some museums as The Abstract Art Museum (Museo de arte abstracto) or The Holy Week Museum.  Finally, leaving the neighborhood to the modern city, there is the Jucar river and its benches, in where are a lot of green zones.

More touristic sites to visit near Cuenca

Read our full list of cities and destinations to visit in Castilla La Mancha.

Other cities near Cuenca:  Toledo, Madrid, Valencia, Zaragoza.

Toledo: What to visit in Toledo, a beautiful ancient city near Madrid

toledo city

Toledo is a historical city with a lot of ancient buildings and monuments which make a medieval atmosphere for everyone who wants to visit it.

mapa toledo spainOnce, Toledo was the capital city of Spain with Carlos I the king in the XVI century. Although the history of the city began many centuries before, with the Celtic civilization. After that, Toledo was habited by Romans, Goths, Muslims, Jewish and Christians. Nowadays, the city has around 80.000 inhabitants and is one of the main destinations for tourists who are visiting the centre of the county.

The city is located one hour away of Madrid by car or by bus, so if you are in Madrid for a while and you have one free day, you would like to travel to Toledo.

The historical city of Toledo was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1986.


What to visit in Toledo

– Toledo city centre: The historic centre of the city is full of monuments, gates, and ancients buildings. In there, you will find most of the important streets, squares, and museums of the city. Also, it has a lot of restaurants and shops for tourists.

toledo gate

 – Alcázar de Toledo This building was built in the third century by the romans. Later, it was restored by Alfonso VI, Alfonso XI and extended by Carlos I in 1534. Currently this building is an army museum (Museo del ejército).

army museum square

– Toledo Cathedral (Catedral de Santa María de Toledo): This is another important monument that you can find in the centre of the city. It is a gothic catedral, built between 1200 and 1500. It measures 120 metres in length, 59 metres in width and 44.5 metres in height.


– Toledo Synagogue (Sinagoga del Transito): It was built in 1355, and is probably the only building with still stands in Toledo built by the muslim civilization.


– The Greco Museum (Museo del Greco): This museum is placed alongside the synagogue. Inside it, you will be able to see some of the artworks of Doménikos Theotokópoulos (“El Greco”). The museum was built above the foundations of a renaissance palace.

greco museum

Touristic Map of Toledo

Here you have a map with the most important places to visit in Toledo:

toledo touristic map

More cities to visit near Toledo

Madrid: The capital of the country is always plenty of cultural and leisure activity.

Segovia: With its impressive roman aqueduct and its Alcazar, Segovia is a must for tourists who are visiting the central region of Spain.

Salamanca: Salamanca has the most ancient university of Spain. Also, visiting its historic centre is like to stay in the medieval age, surrounded of elegant stone-made buildings, churches, squares and monuments.  Salamanca is surely one of the best maintained traditional cities of the country.

Top best cities in Spain: Read here our list with the best destinations to visit in Spain.