• Registration Year

    1986

  • Registered Sector

    Historic City of Toledo

  • Historical Function

    Imperial capital and religious city.

  • Administrative Status

    Chief city of the Province of Toledo.

Location and site

At a distance of 67 km. south of Madrid and at the heart of New Castile, Toledo was built on a promontory that dominates the mouth of the Tagus River to the east, south and west. In addition to the historic city and its surrounding wall, the World Heritage Site includes the banks of the Tagus, with its bridges and its gates, the area of the Roman circus and the fortified castle of San Servando.

Urban Morphology

Although vestiges of the first fortification constructed by the Visigoths can still be seen, it is mostly the second wall, built by the Arabs and reconstructed during the Reconquest, that encloses the historic city of Toledo today. Its irregular plan, with its dense network of lanes and dead-end streets, dates to the Muslim period of its history.

Toledo experienced numerous rich artistic movements and an array of styles is illustrated in both its architectural landscape and the composition of each of its monuments. The Santa Cruz Hospital, constructed between 1514 and 1544, was one of Spain's earliest Renaissance works: its cupola and interior borrow from Gothic vocabulary, its mouldings are of the "Mudéjar" style, and its doorway exemplifies the first period of Plateresque art. Churches are very numerous in Toledo.

Registration Criteria

"The city of Toledo in its entirety represents a unique artistic achievement and an uninterrupted succession of remarkable achievements, from the Visigothic churches to the Baroque ensembles of the 18th century." (I) "Toledo exerted considerable influence, both during the Visigothic period, when it was capital of a kingdom which stretched all the way to the Narbonnese region, and during the Renaissance when it became one of the most important artistic centres in Spain." (II) "Toledo bears exceptional testimony to several civilisations which have disappeared:" Rome, the Visigoths, the Emirate of Cordóba, the Jewish civilisation, and that of the Christian Middle Ages. (III) "Toledo retains a series of outstanding examples of 15th- and 16th-century constructions" [...] representing "the Spanish golden age. [...]" (IV)

Historical Reference

  • After its was conquered by the Alains, then by the Visigoths in 418, Toledo became the capital of Visigothic Spain in 513. In the 7th century, it was made the seat of the Church of Spain.
  • The year 711 marked the beginning of the period of Muslim rule over Toledo, which was to last three centuries. During this time, Arabs, Jews and Christians lived side by side. Hispano-Moorish art developed in this context of great cultural richness.
  • After having been the capital of an independent kingdom during the 10th century, Toledo was reconquered under the reign of Alfonso VI in 1083. It became one of the seats of the Spanish court and played a major political role. Until the Spanish Inquisition in 1485, Jews and Muslims lived side by side in the city.
  • From the 12th until the 16th century, Toledo was the site of remarkable artistic development. In the 16th century, under the reign of Charles-Quint, it attained the status of an "imperial and crowned city," and flourished in many domains.
Sr. Don Emiliano García-Page Sánchez
Alcalde-Presidente
Excmo. Ayuntamiento de Toledo
Plaza del Consistorio Vo-1
45071 Toledo, España
Tel:
+34.925 26.97.01/2/3
Fax:
+34.925 26.97.09
Email:
alcaldia@ayto-toledo.org
Sra. Lucia Arroyo Rivera
Jefa de Protocolo
Ayuntamiento de Toledo
Plaza del Consistorio, 1
45071 Toledo, España
Tel:
+34.925 26.97.07
Fax:
+34.925 26.97.69
Email:
protocolo@ayto-toledo.org
Toledo: Vista del Caso Histórico
Toledo: Puente de San Martín
Toledo: Castillo de San Servando