Toledo Bristles With Swords

We can’t imagine who actually buys these swords or how they get onto an airplane with them. They really do make them here, and one shop proudly shows clips from ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’, as they produced the swords used in the fight scenes.

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Everything You Need For A Good Knight
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Swords For The Modern Man

Slightly more usable are the hunting knives, again we see hundreds of them.

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Damasquinado Craftsman

Damasquinado, or the craft of inlaying metals, in tiny intricate patterns, is still going strong and there are shops where you can watch craftsmen hammering away at their work-bench!

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Damasquinado Detail
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Lace Edged Fan

For the ladies who aren’t in the ‘Kill Bill’ mood, there are plenty of fans; terrible for self-defence, but useful for making bitchy remarks behind. They come in plain colours, laser-cut, lace-edged, hand painted or smudgily printed with religious scenes.

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Painted Detail On Fan
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Three Religions In One

Toledo is also famous as a meeting point for three religions; Islam, Judaism and Catholicism.

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Sinagoga Santa Maria La Blanca

The Arabic influence in the fantastic Moorish architecture is apparent in several churches and synagogues, though there does’t seem to be a mosque here.There are two very beautiful ancient Synagogues, one now the Sephardi Museum and one now a church.

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Hebrew Script, Arabic Decoration
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What Is This? Clue: Ouch!
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Faux Arabic Script In San Roman Church

Also the Church of San Roman which features Moorish windows and faux Arabic script as painted decoration.

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San Roman Doorway
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San Roman Window
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Toledo Cathedral

The Cathedral is magnificent, a soaring Gothic structure with many lovely chapels, a carved wooden Sacristy, and the most stunning example of Spanish Baroque art anywhere. It is called the Transparente and is carved from white marble and partly gilded. All the characters are in motion, legs swing one way, torsos twist in the opposite direction, an angel swoops down swinging the censer. The top scene features the Last Supper, and below this the Virgin Mary sits with a wriggling baby jesus, surrounded by angels and cupids. All the characters are busy doing something, often mischievous; the cupids on the left side, are squashing each others’ faces, and on the right they’re about to kiss.

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Baroque And Roll
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Exhausted Cupid

The whole scene is supported by two reluctant cupids who seem to be labouring under the weight and missing all the fun.

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