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Toledo Cathedral stands on the site of the Great Mosque of Toledo,

which itself had replaced a Visigothic church. Built from 1226 to 1493,

the long process is reflected in Toledo Cathedral's variety of styles.

                   

The exterior of the great cathedral, with its grand spire and massive buttresses,

is best appreciated from outside the city or from a nearby high point.

Up close, it is difficult to appreciate the scale of the cathedral, but its beauty is more than evident.

The north tower stands 295 feet (90m) high and was built from 1380-1440.

Inside is the famous bell known as the Campana Gorda, cast in 1753 and weighing 17 tons.

The south tower was left unfinished and is capped with a Baroque dome.

                   

The north tower stands 295 feet (90m) high and was built from 1380-1440.

Inside is the famous bell known as the Campana Gorda, weighing 17 tons.

The south tower was left unfinished and is capped with a Baroque dome.

                   

Below - The Organ of the Emperor in the Cathedral of Toledo Spain

                   

Below - Directly behind the main altar is El Transparente, which stands out among the cathedral's

many art treasures. A wall of marble and florid baroque alabaster sculpture, it was overlooked

for years because the cathedral was too poorly lit. Sculptor Narcisco Tomé cut a skylight

in the ceiling, much to the consternation of Toledans, and now light touches

the high-rising angels, a Last Supper in alabaster, and a Virgin in ascension.

                   

Below - Portraits of 19th-century Toledan archbishops in the Chapterhouse (Sala Capitular)

Below, right - Chapel of saint James (funeral chapel)

                     

Below - The funeral chapel with a star shaped , arch ribbed vaulted ceiling, and the

sepulchres of Don Alvarado de Luna and his wife Dona Juana Pimentel (above, right)

                   

Below - right El Espolio and other works of art on display in the Sacristry

                  

Below - There are more than 20 chapels throughout the cathedral, this is

the Capilla Mayor, with its impressive gilded altarpiece. The huge retablo of gilded

and painted larchwood (1504) has four tiers of New Testament scenes with life- size figures;

in the center is a magnificent pyramidal monstrance. On either side of the high altar are royal tombs.

                   

Below - Christ on a cross hangs overhead

         

Below - At the heart of the cathedral is the magnificent Coro (choir),

with two tiers of carved walnut-wood stalls and abundant sculptures.

The stalls in the lower tier (sillería baja; by Rodrigo Alemán, 1495)

are carved with 54 historical reliefs of scenes from the conquest of Granada.

                   

Below - The Cloister. In front of the painting that shows the removal of

Saint Eugene's relics, there is a pillar with a ball and a cross which

contains a stone fragment from the original church in the 6th century.

                               

The most important object kept in the Chapel of the Treasure is the great Monstrance of Arfe,

also known as La Gran Ostensoria de Toledo. Made of the finest silver and gold

and bejeweled with gems, it measures over ten feet tall. The monstrance is

famous for being used in the annual feast of Corpus Christi of Toledo.