The Beauty and the Beast — Toledo, Spain

The walk through Islamic Toledo

Toledo is one hour away from Madrid going towards south of Spain. Toledo is fascinating town indeed! It’s as close to Islamic Spanish history as you’ll get being near Madrid. My husband and I decided to go there for a day but ended up staying a night in this beautiful historic town.

Toledo is very close to Madrid, hence, the tourism here is pretty high. However, the tourist don’t get in your face that much. It’s not a Piccadilly Circus if you’ve ever been to London. The streets are sweet full of surprises as some buildings look spectacular. For those who don’t know Spain was Muslim for 800 years.

The buildings with soul are breathtaking! I can feel the magic of it. It has stand the test of time and it’s still looks spectacular. One of those magical buildings is Mosque of Cristo de la Luz in the old town. The streets are so deceiving because it’s wiggly I turn a corner and have no idea which way to go. However, when we did find the mosque it was beautiful.

It looked like a piece of art on a street.

We got inside. It’s a tiny place with christian religions symbols which do not belong to the mosque. Toledo used to have 19 mosques in town now only one which one can visit and one under construction. Mosque of Cristo de la Luz hasn’t lost its charm and glory even though there’s a massive cross hanging amongst the arches. It doesn’t take a genius to work that christian religions symbols don’t belong there and seriously look out of place.

I don’t get this idea of going into an Islamic building and putting christian religions symbols. It’s everywhere in Spain. The most known is the Mosque of Cordoba or sometimes referred as The Great Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba. It made me sick to the stomach to see horrific christian religions pieces in the most beautiful mosque.

I have nothing against christian religion but please take it out of my face in the mosque where it doesn’t belong. I live in Spain long enough to notice that Spanish people don’t like talking about its Islamic past but without it, Spain wouldn’t have the beauty as it has today. It’s a shame to try and re-write the history and it’s a shame to try and tell another tale when Spanish already have an amazing sadly brutal history.

Toledo has great food and great prices. It’s only an hour away from Madrid but the food quality is great! The price of the food is fantastic too! Highly recommend it. The one thing I didn’t like about Toledo is seeing knifes everywhere. It’s a sort of symbol of knights. There’s a massive museum of knights and knifes to which we didn’t go. I missed the Spanish guitar and flamenco on the streets of Toledo.

There’s a museum of torture. The Spanish Inquisition lasted for 200 years in Spain!!!! Really long time. We went to a museum of torture instruments. It was shocking to see that some of the these torture instruments are still used today in some institutions. The saddest thing was to see how could one human being do such cruel things to another..? Women were tortured too.

I couldn’t sleep a few nights afterwards. Overall, Toledo is definitely worth a visit. I was cherishing the Islamic past of Spain because the beauty of it is so inspiring. I ignored most of the knight and knife business. However, when you are in Spain if you just look for Islamic features you’ll find it everywhere. It’s in arches, in food (not the pork, of course) and the landscape.

I am a writer who learned to code! I write about personal experiences within a humanist and global context. Find me on Twitter & Instagram @erikachaudhary

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