Toledo is a city full of not just landmarks, but also a heritage of craftsmanship that dates back centuries. The tradition is still going strong in the city’s old town if you fancy taking a hand-crafted gift back home with you.
If you are looking to buy authentic jewellery, one of the best things to buy is damascene, exquisite craftsmanship that makes figures and drawings by inlaying gold and silver threads and sheets onto a steel base. Its name comes from the city of Damascus in modern-day Syria, with origins in Ancient Greece, Egypt and Rome as well as in Japan and China where it was used to decorate katanas. It developed in Toledo under the Moors and is an artform that continues to this day. If you want to see it being made before your very eyes, head to the many shops that litter the city’s streets.
Other options are the city’s famous swords and armour. Toledo’s sword-making tradition dates back to the creation of the Fábrica de armas (Weapons Factory) in 1761, intending to reclaim its historic role in the manufacture of Toledan steel, or Spanish steel outside of Spain. You’ll find shops selling this beautiful workmanship throughout the old town.
Another product with a long tradition in Toledo dating back to the Muslim period is cuerda seca (or Mudejar-style) pottery whereby a coloured glaze is applied to ceramics. You’ll find all kinds of pieces including jugs, plates, platters and tiles.
For those with a sweet tooth, Toledo’s famous marzipan is something you should consider. If you fancy finding out more about the city’s delicacy click here.
As you can now see, when you come to Toledo you’ll have plenty to choose from when deciding what to take back with you, drawing from either Toledo’s artistic or culinary traditions.