Visiting this city has been my favorite part of the trip thus far. It is BEAUTIFUL, just look at that view from the hill! We had a great morning for the entry tour here, as the sun was shining warmly over the city. It’s very historic, and known as a crossroads of three world religions: Muslim, Christianity, and Judaism. The architecture displays this crossover quite obviously.
Many buildings that are now ‘Christian’ were at one time synagogues or mosques. We saw both and how during the Spanish Inquisition they transformed these edificios (buildings) into something that could suit Catholic needs. In a way, it was saying the the citizens, we like you and want your things, but we’d like you more if you were Christian. We learned during these times, if you were Catholic, you didn’t pay taxes. This made the Jews an asset for monetary purposes.
Unfortunately the sun did not stay out for us all day. Halfway through we faced a nice pour of lluvia (rain) that we had to grin and bear. I didn’t mind, it was like camping! The streets in the city are ridiculous; as they are so narrow and all made of cobblestone. It’s actually rare to see many roads actually paved, most are a tile or stone pattern. (Makes for beautiful streets and sidewalks!) These were the narrowest we’d see yet. So narrow that when cars passed, you had to mush yourself against the wall in hopes to not be sideswiped by one as it passed. In America, I don’t think we’d even drive a car down a road this narrow, so we were surprised to see that these were actually streets and not just walking pathways.
Me gusta Toledo mucho. I can’t wait to tell you more as we move now to Valladolid and start settling in with our host families!
Courtney Cerniglia is a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point majoring in business administration and Spanish.