As it could not be otherwise in the City of 3 Cultures, the Cathedral of Toledo is located in the same place where initially there was a Christian temple, later a Visigothic temple and later an Arab mosque.
The Cathedral of Toledo began to be built in the 13th century and its construction was completed in 1493 in the times of the Catholic Monarchs.
It is an authentic Gothic jewel and one of the main monuments to see in Toledo.
What to see outside the Cathedral of Toledo
The main façade of the Cathedral of Toledo, located in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento, is a true wonder in itself and deserves to be contemplated as closely as possible.
In the center of the main façade we find the Puerta del Perdón, a 15th-century Gothic door that only opens on special occasions, such as when a new archbishop takes office.
On both sides of this door we find the Door of the Last Judgment, the oldest of the three, and the Door of Hell.
The other great element that stands out on its main façade is the Tower, in Gothic style and 92 meters high.
Initially they thought to build 2 equal towers on each side of the façade but only this one was built and on the other side another smaller one topped with a dome under which the Mozarabic Chapel is located.
Another of the doors that stands out on the outside of the Cathedral of Toledo is the Puerta de los Leones, the most modern and with one of the most important sets of sculptures from the 15th century. Also not to be missed is the Clock Gate and other smaller gates that surround the building.
The chapels of the Cathedral
After admiring its exterior and accessing its interior, we will begin to get excited about one of the most beautiful cathedrals in Spain and in the world.
The Capilla Mayor is one of the places that houses the most works of art with a large number of statues and also important canvases.
Originally it had a fence carved in stone, of which a part is still preserved, and it is accessed between two pillars where they are represented by Martin Alhaja, a shepherd who gave very important information that allowed the victory in Las Navas de Tolosa, and Abu Walid, an alfaqui who advocated coexistence between Arabs and Christians.
This spectacular chapel is dominated by its great altarpiece, the summit of the Gothic and one of the last examples of it before the arrival of the Renaissance. In the Main Chapel there is also the tomb of Cardinal Mendoza, one of the first Renaissance works in Spain.
Another chapel that we must highlight is the Mozarabic Chapel, built by order of Cardinal Cisneros to restore the Mozarabic rite in the city of Toledo, a rite that was in decline at that time although it had been celebrated since the time of the Visigoths.
In this chapel, its dome stands out, the work of El Greco’s son, the bronze and marble altar and the Gothic ironwork.
Nor should we forget the Chapel of the New Kings, named in honor of the Trastámara, where there are several tombs of kings of this dynasty, whose highest representative is Isabella the Catholic, although she is buried in the Royal Chapel of Granada.
The Chapter House, located between the chapels of the ambulatory, stands out for its rich Plateresque-style decoration and the portraits of all the archbishops of Toledo, as well as the frescoes by Juan de Borgoña.
The stained glass windows and the Transparent
You will be surprised by the number of stained glass windows that you can find in the Primate Cathedral of Toledo.
Particularly noteworthy are those in the rose window of the transept, those in the Main Chapel and those on the east façade with interesting figures of apostles and saints.
These stained glass windows date from between the 15th and 17th centuries and, although they suffered significant damage during the Spanish Civil War, they have been perfectly restored so that they can be admired today, just as Toledans were able to do in times past.
One of the most interesting elements that we can see in the Cathedral of Toledo is the so-called Transparent, a great masterpiece by Narciso Tomé made of marble, jasper and bronze and completed in 1732.
The Transparent represents different figures and passages from the Bible and is perfectly illuminated by the skylights of the apse
The so-called Transparent is the great masterpiece of the sculptor Narciso Tomé, completed in 1732, and made of Genoese marble, jasper and bronze.
Conceived as an altarpiece, and illuminated by the skylights of the apse, it presents numerous figures and compositions representing passages from the Bible.
Other places to visit in the Cathedral of Toledo
We should not finish our visit to the Cathedral of Toledo without seeing the Treasury, where interesting objects, clothes and other elements of great historical value are kept.
But without a doubt, the most interesting thing is the Monstrance of Enrique de Arfe that goes out in procession during Corpus Christi.
The Sacristy is also very interesting, from the 17th century, decorated with paintings by important painters, such as Titian, Rubens, Goya or El Greco.
It is also possible to climb its tower to have interesting views of both the interior of the Cathedral and the city of Toledo.
You can find more information on the official page of the Primate Cathedral of Toledo.