Panoramic view of the city of Toledo after sunset, Spain
© Frank Fischbach/Alam
City of swords
Welcome to Toledo, in Spain’s Castilla La Mancha region. Known variously as the Imperial City and the City of Three Cultures, it was the main venue of the court of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V during the 16th century. As it is close to Madrid, it’s a popular day-tripping spot (in normal times) but those who stay late are rewarded with beautifully lit buildings and bags of nocturnal charm. Famous for its mix of Christian, Jewish and Muslim architecture, its towering Alcázar fortress dominates the skyline.
This panoramic view of the old town includes some of its most famous buildings, with the Alcázar on the right and the Gothic cathedral of Santa María in the centre. At its feet lies the historic Jewish quarter, which is also where you will find the painter El Greco’s house and some of the smithies that made the Toledo sword steel so famous among the nobles of the Middle Ages. Declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in the 1980s, this city on the banks of the River Tagus is considered to be one of the most beautiful in Spain.