Toledo – “city of three cultures”
In 1085, King Alfonso VI of Leon and Castile entered Toledo with an agreement from Al-Qadir and the last Taifa of Toledo.
Alfonso granted privileges to Christians, Muslims and Jews, alike. Alfonso promised Muslims that they could retain their mosques, Jews were allowed to pray as they pleased. Under his rule, the city continued a Golden Age marked by the translation of historic works of mathematics and astronomy into all three languages.
From King Alfonso we get the epic story of El Cid – a story which begins with the exile of El Cid, whose enemies falsely accuse him of stealing money from the king.
Toledo and the province of Castile–La Mancha have inspired many stories and legends, including that of the ingenious gentleman Don Quixote de la Mancha, who with his lance and shield would tilt at windmills.
This phrase has come down to us in English as the wish to attack imaginary enemies.
“Yo, Quijano, seré paladín. Seré mi sueño. En esa vieja casa hay una adarga antigua y una hoja de Toledo y una lanza y los libros verdaderos que a mi brazo prometen la victoria.”
“I, Quijano, will be champion. This will be my dream. In this old house is an ancient shield and a sword of Toledo and a lance and the true books that promise victory with my arm.”
Jorge Luis Borges
Sueña Alonso Quijano
The steel sword of Toledo is famed for a high quality alloy; and as far back as Roman times, the short sword was a standard arm of the Roman legions.
During the Spanish Civil War, the Alcázar of Toledo became a rallying point of Spanish Nationalist forces. Colonel José Moscardó Ituarte held the fortress against overwhelming Spanish Republican forces and at the price of Moscardó’s son Luis.