Those who enjoy the visit of museums specializing in art and history, will be in luck when visiting Toledo, as the city houses several museums with world-renowned works of art, which are worth visiting.
HOSPITAL DE TAVERA
This old Hospital built in 1541, by the Cardinal of which it took the name, collects in its interior a large collection of paintings of the Greco, Luca Giordano, Zurbarán, Tintoretto, and many renowned artists more. You can also contemplate a large collection of Flemish furniture and tapestries from the 16th and 17th centuries, and a collection of ceramic jars from the hospital’s own pharmacy.
Although there was no museum to visit, the grandeur of the building with its courtyards, church, crypt and sacristy would turn it into a monument worth seeing.
It is open from Monday to Saturday from 10 to 14:30, and from 15 to 18:30. While Sundays only open in the mornings. The entrance has a cost of €6 for the full visit, and €4 for the partial visit, which gives access to patios, church and sacristy. The visit to the museum and the pharmacy is carried out in groups with an estimated duration of 45 minutes.
There are those who claim that, after the Vatican, the cathedral of Toledo is the Catholic temple that more artistic works collects. And it’s probably true. A simple walk through the interior of the temple will make us discover at a glance a large number of chapels and stays that house multiple works to be looked at carefully. Among the highlights, include:
- Sacristy, which highlights the famous Greco painting “The Plunder”, but also numerous works by important artists such as Caravaggio, Tiziano, Tristan, Goya… Etc.
- Treasure Room, which is in a room under the main tower, and built to store the main jewels of goldsmithing. It goes without saying that the most outstanding work in the great custody of Arfe, elaborated according to the tradition with the first gold brought from America. We will be able to contemplate the custody at its maximum splendor during the procession of the Corpus Christi, but the remainder of the year remains kept in this room. It is also kept here the so-called Bible of St. Louis, a work given in 1258 to Alfonso X.
- Chapter house, where highlights the portraits of the first archbishops of Toledo, painted by John of Burgundy, and the rest of presides painted by prestigious artists in different eras.
- From the choir we can cite its magnificent silleria, where different moments of the conquest of Granada are represented. It is also quite appreciated by the Toledo the sculpture of the “Virgen Blanca”, a Gothic bill from the 14th century.
- The transparent emerged as a solution to bring more light to the temple through an oval window surrounded by a expectacular sculptural group. It is the work with which the works of the cathedral were finished.
- It is also possible to visit the tower of the temple, being able to enjoy some unbeatable views, and to know the so-called “Fat Bell”
Visiting hours are from Monday to Saturday from 10 to 18, and Sundays and public holidays from 14 to 18. The full entrance has a cost of €10, and includes visit to: Temple, choir Museums, chapter house, Treasure, sacristy, Chapel of Kings, cloister, Museum of the College of Infants (tapestries), and audioguide. If we want to visit also the tower the entrance will have a cost of €12.50
This museum was located in a building where, according to tradition, the Cretan artist lived during his stay in Toledo. It was the Marquis de la Vega-Inclán who at the beginning of the twentieth century acquired this property and complemented it with furniture and belongings of the Greco era.
In its interior is exhibited much of the work of genius of painting, which highlights his apostolate, the “View and plan of Toledo”, and “the Tears of St. Peter.” All of them world-famous works. But in the museum we will also find works by Luis Tristán and Murillo among other great painters.
The general rate is €3, and the reduced of €1.50. The summer visiting hours are from 9:30 to 19:30 from Tuesday to Saturday, and in winter from 9:30 to 18 also from Tuesdays to Saturdays. All year round on Sundays and holidays is 10 to 15.
MUSEUM OF COUNCILS AND VISIGOTH CULTURE
This museum is located in the beautiful church of San Román, one of the best examples of Mudejar Toledo. And inside we can discover first hand different archaeological works of the Visigoth period (VI, VII, and VIII centuries). Among them very faithful reproductions of the crowns votive of the Kings Recesvinto and intial, found in the nineteenth century in the famous “Treasure of Guarrazar” in the nearby commune of Guadamur.
The timetable of this museum is from 10 to 14:30, and from 16 to 19 from Tuesday to Saturday, and from 10 to 14:30 on Sundays.
SANTA CRUZ MUSEUM
This museum, important not only at local level but also national, is located in what was the old Hospital of Santa Cruz, an emblematic building very close to the square of Zocodover, founded by the Cardinal Mendoza. In it we can enjoy valuable paintings from the 16th and 17th centuries, with works by El Greco and Luis Tristán among others.
There are also rooms dedicated to archaeology, and interesting temporary exhibitions, which in recent years have housed, to name a few examples, works from the time of Emperor Charles V.
Museum of recent implantation, with funds brought exclusively from Madrid, and which uses the emblematic Alcázar Toledano as headquarters. In this museum we will be able to know the military history of Spain by means of a chronological journey through different rooms, in which different collections of each epoch are exposed.
The visit to this collection is the perfect excuse to be able to know the famous fortress inside.
The museum can be visited from 10 to 17 from Tuesday to Sunday, and the general entrance has a cost of €5 for adults, and free for children under 18 years old.
During every Sunday of the year the entrance is free for all visitors.
In the year 1964 is created this museum in the synagogue of the transit, located in the district of the Jewish quarter of Toledo, and that is considered the best preserved and most beautiful medieval synagogue of the world. The synagogue itself, although it did not expose anything else inside, is an architectural gem.
The works exhibited there are intended to show the Jewish culture in Spain, pretending to rescue from oblivion the period elapsed since its expulsion in 1492 to the present day.
The general rate is €3, and the reduced of €1.50. Visiting hours are from Tuesday to Saturday from 9:30 to 18 in winter, and from 9:30 to 19:30 in summer. Sundays and holidays are 10 to 15 all year round.
MUSEUM OF SANTO DOMINGO “EL ANTIGUO”
The Convent of Santo Domingo “El Antiguo” keeps among its walls a large collection of artistic works of great value. To begin with is the altarpiece of the church, the work of El Greco in its beginnings in Toledo. It is also in this convent where the artist’s tomb is located.
You can also see different sculptures, altarpieces, textiles, ceramics… And even original contracts signed by the artist himself.
You can visit from Monday to Saturday from 11 to 13:30, and from 16 to 19. Or on Sundays at this late hour. The general rate is €2.
VICTORIO MACHO MUSEUM
It could not be in a better place than in the house and workshop of the sculptor Victorio Macho, on a promontory known as “La Roca tarpeia”. Inside you can see a representative sample of the author, with portraits of famous characters such as Marañón, Galdos and Unamuno, and sculptures that reflect the artistic talent of the author.
You can visit from Monday to Friday from 10 to 14, and from 17 to 19, with a general entrance of €3. From there you can also enjoy excellent views of the “Los Cigarrales” area.