Less than an hour south of Spain’s capital city of Madrid. You can find yourself wondering through the winding streets of the ancient city of Toledo. The heartbeat of Toledo’s rich history is still felt throughout this historic city that was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1986.
Toledo, the City of the Three Cultures
Toledo is known as the “City of the Three Cultures”. It is unique for being a historic and religious home for Jews, Muslims and Christians throughout Spanish and Roman history. Today, you can still visit century old places of worship, including Synagogues, Mosques and Churches. These religious monuments and artifacts date back to the 12th century.
At points throughout the city’s history, Toledo is famous for its unique skills in sword-making and steel-working. The city became a major source of weaponry for the Roman Army in 500 B.C., famed for its high quality. Walking around the city today, you will still be able to see the locals celebrating their proud history with countless steel shops. Visitors can purchase these swords and blades as souvenirs.
Marzipan, One Of The Most Famous Flavours of Toledo
Marzipan, while less-known internationally, is legendary within Spain and around the Mediterranean region. While most Spanish people eat it during winter as a traditional Christmas pastry, in Toledo they eat this dessert year-round. This dessert dates back to the 1500’s.
Marzipan is special to the region because it utilizes the ingredients produced there. Sugar, local honey, ground Spanish almonds and extracts we love its combinations to create infinite variations of this delicious treat.
Exploring Toledo should be at the top of the list for anyone who wants to experience the most authentic culture of historic Spain. Therefore, we hope that you get the chance to see and taste it all for yourself, but if not, genuine Marzipan is never far away.
There are many disputes about who was the marzipan’s inventor. Countries as far reaching as Iran, Hungary, Italy, Germany and Spain all lay claim on being the creators of this delicious marzipan paste. According to the history of Toledo, the nuns of the Convent of San Clemente invented marzipan after the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa in 1212. The Battle is famous for being a major turning point in Spanish history when the Christians began to take back their territory occupied by the Moors.
However, the lack of food and especially wheat left Castile devastated after the battle. The nuns decided to use the only ingredients in their pantry. Full of sugar and almonds they ground them into a paste to feed it to the starving. It is important to note that although Toledo does produce most of the marzipan in Spain, there are other regions that also offer delicious high quality marzipan. You will just have to try them all to find your favorite.
If you have the chance to come to Toledo, we strongly recommend that you visit this monument. Unfortunately, there many websites where tourists get the tickets at more than double of the original price. Make sure to get them in advance and grab your ticket on the official website here.
If you love travelling in Spain, we are sure that your will enjoy this post about Madrid.