When you arrive to Toledo the first thing you see from the distance is a huge castle at the highest point in town. It is easily seen when you take the train into the city and I am sure you will see it if you drive in by car as well. We had walked up to the castle in the evening the day before but now we decided to go inside and see what the castle looks like from the inside. Fortunately the entrance to the castle is free on the Sunday so we can just go in for free and have a look around inside.
There has been a castle on this spot since the tenth century but the current building is pretty new. Back during the Spanish civil war the castle was a Spanish army barrack. The commander was a nationalist within an area of Spain which was loyal to the republican government. Hence the castle came under siege and was pretty much destroyed during the war. The castle was reconstructed during General Franco’s rules. Inside the castle is a display of what the old castle looked like after the siege.
The castle doubles as a military museum of Spain and it tells the story of how the Spanish armies have evolved over time. There are large sections about the Spanish heyday when Spain ruled large parts of Europe and the Americas.
If you are interested in military history you will probably like the displays of the Spanish military history and the uniforms, arms and medals. But if you want to see the inside of an amazing castle – there really isn’t much to see since the whole building is focus on being a museum displaying the military history of Spain. Hence what is probably impressive rooms are screened off by small walls for the displays so it is pretty difficult to imagine what the castle looks like. The only place where you can really see the castle is in a large inner courtyard where you can see the castle building. If you turn outside instead on into the inner courtyard you will get out to a big open terrace from where you have the best view in Toledo. You can both see the castle – which you really can’t do in most of the town since the streets are pretty narrow – and you can enjoy the views of the town outside the city walls.