Toledo, based in Castille-La Mancha in central Spain, is intensely historical, with clues to its traditions and historical culture everywhere you look. The city has been known as one of the finest blade making cities in the country, and even today visitors will find many shops showing off the skilled armourers and smiths that live here. The city gained UNESCO World Heritage status in 1986, and features a huge Alcazar and also a cathedral, both of which dominate the skyline of the city.
Like many cities in the country, it was under Arab rule in the middle ages for a period, and so the mix of architectural styles here is obvious. The Alcazar sits at the highest point of the hilly city, and is one of the most famous sites to visit. From its construction in the 3rd Century AD as a Roman fortress, to the current day stone building, it has seen many fights. It was even the spot for a brave but ultimately in vain siege against Franco's forces in 1936.
Swords, swords and more swords...
Taken from Flikr under CC BY 2.0 -https://www.flickr.com/photos/10885351@N05
The city makes the most of their blade making history, and many shops here still sell different types of swords, axes and armour. Especially due to the popularity of the Game of Thrones series and the many Spanish filming settings, there is as much memorabilia from the show as their is traditional Spanish weapons on show. As a history geek, it's fascinating to wander round and try the weight and feel of many different styles, from Roman gladius swords to big Scottish two handed swords.
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