Saturday, October 17

Visiting Toledo and Madrid

For 11 years ago (in March 2004) we visited Madrid for the first time. It was a town that we always have wanted to return to, and this week it became a reality. However, the reason was that Toledo was on the top visiting places this autumn and the speed train (up to 300 km/h) from Malaga goes to Madrid. This blog will therefor include some images from Madrid, but mainly from the amazing Cathedral of Saint Mary in Toledo.
First some photos from the city including the documentation of our short stay in this city in Castile-La Mancha.
The statue of Cervantes under the Arch of Blood starts our outdoor presentation. The narrow (and very steep) streets give an understanding of the old city.
 The sunset from the bar at the top of our hotel (Carlos V) was beautiful
and turning around we also almost could touch the walls of Alcazar (a stone fortification located in the highest part of the city)
A photo of my wife on our 38th marriage day at the same place in daylight, are included.
El Greco (Spanish painter born in Crete) moved to Toledo in his 36th year and a visit to his house and museum was on the agenda.

Some of his paintings will be covered in the tour at the Cathedral, but here i include "the tears of Pieter" A masterpiece which are (in original) in the Cathedral and in the Museum of El Greco
Outside the museum the view down to the river makes a good description of the hight difference in the city. The museum is much lower than the Alcazar fortress, and the railway station is on the river level.
Here is an image from Wikipedia

Describing all the images in the following sequence is not possible unless I have the audio presentation available, but I hope these images will give you a brief understanding of the amazing Cathedral:
The Gothic columns with the Rose window.
The High Altar
Virgin Mary and her son
The sealing in the Sacristy
The Golden Paso (Throne) which is carried in the Easter procession 
The smiling mother and her child in the Choir area.

I continue with the painting of ST Peter hanging on the inverted cross at the entrance to the Sacristy
and follow up with the paintings of El Greco and Goya. Just use some seconds to feel the development in art from late 1500 to late 1700.

In the Choir this piece from the conquest of Marbella (one of many others) gives a good presentation of the connection between the church and the military forces / the ruling king
I end up with an external photo of one of the three main doors to the Cathedral. This is the one in the middle and called the door of forgiveness.
Maybe that could also be a symbol to forgive our intake of the huge dinner we had in Toledo on a small restaurant called Sancho y Panza at Plaza de Magdalena. Chicken, pork, lamb, beef and green pimientos on a bed of potatoes. Fantastic.

It has been a long blogpost if you have read everything, but I promised some images from Madrid too, so here we go:
The huge buildings along Gran Via including shops for everybody
A selfie at Puerta del Sol 
Another image from the summit bar at hotel Santa Domingo and below the beautiful garden in the shaft to the ground flor. 

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