Saturday, September 22, 2012

Kimber in Toledo: Part I

While we walked through the Prado, Kimber remarked on how much she loved El Greco. I mean, it makes sense, no? He's marvelous. It then occurred to me, "Heck, we can take the bus to Toledo, spend the day at a gorgeous place, and bask in the beauty that is the Greco Museum." So, here we were, at the Plaza Eliptica, waiting for the bus that would take us to Toledo. In case you want to know, we used Alsa, and our tickets were under 10€, there and back. Awesome, right?

The ride was uneventful and not that long (an hour? an hour and a half? I can't remember anymore). Though you should be warned, this is where you're dropped off in relation to where you'll most likely want to be (See those two pointed towers? That's one of the main attractions), so be prepared to climb all the way up there. Then again, most of Toledo is walking up and down pretty steep streets, so perhaps this is just a good introduction? Take your pick.

Because I can't go to the Greco Museum without drooling over the hands. The hands!

The Sinagoga del Tránsito, also known as the Synagogue of Samuel ha-Levi after its founder, is just a few doors down from the Greco Museum. We made our way here after a little episode in the park across the street where we refilled our water bottles at a fountain and then weren't sure if it'd be sensible to drink it because it looked murky. We drank it, we're alive. No worries. So, the synagogue.

It was built in the fourteenth century by Samuel ha-Levi Abulafia, Treasurer to Peter of Castile. After the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492, it was turned into a church, and later a hermitage in the eighteenth century, when it was dedicated to the Tránsito de Nuestra Señora, or Our Lady's Transit.

A sign next to this section of fenced pavement claimed that it is the only original flooring left in the building. So it's roughly six hundred years old. How mind-boggling is that?

The adjacent building houses the Museo Sefardí, or Sephardic Museum. Its creation was ordered by decree in 1964, and it officially opened to the public in 1971.

Its collection includes objects representative of Jewish people's history extending from their origins in the Near East to their presence in al-Andalus, and later in the Catholic Kingdoms. Also, everything is gorgeous.

Next, this beauty:


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