South of Madrid is Toledo. This city on the hill overlooking the Tagus River was the Visigothic capital after the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, and later, the Castilian capital.
The castle, the Alcazar of Toledo, once used as a Roman palace in the 3rd century, was later restored under the Spanish kings.
Toledo is a rich mixture of Roman, Visigothic, Arab, Christian and Jewish cultures and it adds a blend of colors to the Spanish quilt.
There is an interesting Roman bridge in Toledo, with towers on both side of the river. The city-side tower leads up to the old town, which has an elaborate system of walls, gates and watch towers, some of which date back to the Roman times. This medieval labyrinth leads us to the town center and the cathedral.
The city has a large medieval Jewish quarter with museums in two restored Sephardic synagogues. The first, called El Transito, is a 14th century building, which has a Mudéjar polychrome stucco-work and massive paneled ceiling. The other one, is a 12th century building, converted to a church called Santa Maria La Blanca, is also in Mudéjar style, and looks more like a mosque.