by Br. Alexis Bugnolo
Yesterday I made a brief 45 minute visit to one of the most ancient sites of the Catholic Faith in Spain, the Cathedral of Toledo. Founded by the disciples of the Apostles in the first century after Christ, the Church of Toledo has had a continual succession of Bishops down to our day. And through it all the Church has received the patronage of Saints and Kings, so that it is today without a doubt one of the magnificent treasures of Catholic religious art along with being the resting place of countless Kings, queens, Bishops, clergy and not a few Saints.
I say a brief 45 minutes, because, if you even begin to pay attention to the art in this Church, it would take you days before you surveyed it all with due attention. But when you purchase a ticket they only give you 45 minutes at a time to view it.
Here are some videos and photos I took yesterday afternoon, to inspire you and convince you, if you are even in Spain, to head for the Cathedral of Toledo for a unique and unforgettable lesson in Catholic sacred art.
The style of this Cathedral is Spanish Gothic. And Indeed, I think you can say that the Gothic began here, seeing that Toledo was the capital of the Visogothic Kingdom.
The main doors, now opened only for visits of Popes and Kings.
The side door:
The same door, from a distance, showing its architectural context. This is the door to enter when visiting the Most Blessed Sacrament. While from the inside you cannot enter the whole of the Church, at least here you do not have to pay to enter.
The Choir, that is, the place where the Canons of the Cathedral recited the Divine Office together. Here the camera looks toward the Sanctuary, where the High Altar stands.
Here is the sanctuary:
Here is just one of the side altars dedicated to the Mother of God. The entire Cathedral is consecrated to Her, under Her title as Immaculate Conception.
Here is a fresco of the Last Judgement, from the Chapel of the Bishops. Notice that no clerics are to be found on the side of the damned. (I think the Bishops were not facing reality).
Here are 3 amazing illuminated manuscripts from the Cathedral Library: