We will pick you up at your hotel in private car and drive you to the city of Toledo, considered during more than 300 years the UNIVERSAL CAPITAL OF TOLERANCE. Thereafter we will proceed to the SAN LORENZO DEL ESCORIAL MONASTERY and the Valley of the Fallen.
Indeed, it is argued that from 711 to 1085 the spirit of tolerance which presided the occupation of the city by several Arab civilizations allowed for a peaceful coexistence between Christians, Jews and Muslims characterized by respect and peace. Toledo was founded by the Romans, about 200 years before Christ, and in the 6th century AD was designated capital of Visigothic Spain. It was also the capital of Moorish Spain and after the Christian Reconquista, Toledo fell however in disgrace and was replaced by the first two Habsburg kings for Madrid as the capital of the Spanish kingdom. Nevertheless, Toledo is nowadays the thriving capital of the Castilla La Mancha region. The entire city, situated on a crossroads in central Spain as it were, can be considered a monument to artistic achivement from the Romans to the Renaissance. Our visit will start by enjoying spectacular views of this ancient World Heritage Site. We will continue the tour with a relaxing walk through the city’s winding streets, dotted with palaces and convents. Finally, we will finish our visit to Toledo with a Private Tour to the impressive Gothic Cathedral, the El Tránsito Synagogue and its Sephardic Museum, The Burial of Count Orgaz considered without any doubt El Greco’s masterpiece.
We will pick proceed to the MONASTERY OF SAN LORENZO DEL ESCORIAL. This spectacular historical wonder presides over the Madrid sierra with its 4 corner towers 45 meters high comprising an area of 207m x 161m which is contained within an architectural complex enclosing 2600 windows (296 of them facing outwardly) – 1200 Doors – 86 staircases – 88 fountains – 16 patios – 15 cloisters and 9 towers built under the guidance of Juan de Herrera, a genius of Renaissance architecture. The Monastery of San Lorenzo del Escorial is an astounding proof of architectural, artistic and historical brilliance, which unravels the psychology and world view of the monarchs of the Spanish Habsburg dynasty. It should be noted that the monastery was also a convent which was used as the home of 100 priests belonging to the order of St. Jerome. It also served as a royal palace with its royal library, an important college, a church for the kings and a luxurious mausoleum where the ashes of the kings of Spain (with the exception of Philip V and Ferdinand VI) from Charles I onwards rest in peace.
The VALLEY OF THE FALLEN is a great example of how a highly controversial concept of power is reflected in a monumental work of twentieth-century architectural engineering. A huge granite cross measuring 150 meters, the highest in the world, overlooks a pasture of 1,365 acres. A tunnel dug deep into the hard rock on which the cross was erected, 250 meters in length, contains the graves of General Francisco Franco, dictator of Spain from 1939 to 1975, José Antonio Primo de Rivera, a falangist leader assasinated at the early stages of the civil conflict and many others killed during the bloody Spanish Civil War.
Prices in €uros per tour, NOT per person (21 % VAT to be added)