|The façade of Toledo cathedral|
Toledo served as the capital city of Visigothic Spain.
The old city is located on a mountaintop and contains many historical sights, including the Alcázar, the cathedral (the primate church of Spain), and the Zocodover, a central marketplace. Toledo was famed for religious tolerance and had large communities of Jews and Muslims until they were expelled from Spain; the city therefore has important religious monuments like the Synagogue of Santa Maria la Blanca, the Synagogue of El Transito, and the Mosque of Cristo de la Luz.
The cathedral is remarkable for its incorporation of light and no part is more remarkable than the Baroque transparente, or back of the altar screen, several stories high, with fantastic figures of stucco, painting, bronze castings, and multiple colors of marble, a masterpiece of medieval mixed media by Narciso Tomei topped by the daily effect for just a few minutes of a shaft of sunlight striking it through a hole in the roof, giving the impression that the whole altar is rising to heaven.
Toledo was famed for its production of steel and especially of swords and the city is still a center for the manufacture of knives and other steel implements.
Toledo was home to El Greco for the latter part of his life, and is the subject of some of his most famous paintings, including The Burial of the Count of Orgaz, exhibited in the Church of Santo Tomé.