Toledo is a city that’s just made to be enjoyed. Walking through the city’s magical streets is a must do for anyone visiting Spain. The second you pass through its walls, it’s like stepping back in time and travelling to another era. This is a city that many cultures have left their mark on, which can be seen in the streets, houses, palaces and squares that make up Toledo.
Toledo has an irregular layout. Inherited from the Moors, the city’s narrow streets are full of dead ends leaving you lost in the labyrinth that is Toledo. But don’t let you put this off, wherever you end up in the city there are plenty of things to discover. Some things of mention in the city are:
- The narrow streets such as Callejón de los Codos (“Elbow Alley”), so called because you can touch both walls at the same time. But there are other narrow streets such as the following alleys (callejones): de Nuncio Viejo (also known as de Orates), del Infierno, del Toro de Jesús or de San Cristóbal.
- The inscribed ceramic plates dotted throughout the city in neighbourhoods such as Pozo Amargo.
- The fountains such as that in Plaza de San Justo.
- The coats of arms of Toledo’s nobility that adorn many buildings throughout the city.
- The street signs stating “this street is Toledo”. This classification designated it a public street, preventing local residents from extending their property across the thoroughfare.
- Crosses nailed to the wall beneath a small roof that are found on the outer wall of some churches and convents to mark the area in line with the main altar. Their aim is to ensure that passersbys act in a respectful way as they go by.
- The initials of generations of university students graffitied on various buildings.
- Guarda ejes: Grooves on the front of buildings at wheel height to protect the cars’ wheels such as on Calle Aljibillos.
- Guardacantones: Stone structures on street corners to protect them from the brush of a passing car.
- Stone balls that adorn the top corners of a house: these balls indicated that there was a resovoir or a well within the house, alerting their neighbour to the fact so that in the event of a fire (a common occurance in Toledo due to the wooden foundations and roofs of many buildings in the city) they could easily find water.
- Reused Visigoth remains put to use in buildings built in later years.
- The iconic barred balconies.
- The trampantojos (literally “tricks for your eyes”): The art technique (known by its French name trompe l’oeil in English), commonly used by homeowners on a budget, uses things such as perspective and shading to decorate the front of a building in a way that play tricks on a passerby’s perception.
- The passages such as the one connected to the town hall or cobertizos (roofs sticking off the side of the building to provide some cover from the elements) such as in Pozo Amargo.
There are so many things to see while you have a stroll through Toledo that the hours will fly by without you realising it. Come to our great city and enjoy an atypical stroll.
Here you can find a free city map of Toledo to help you explore.