Toledo’s Treasures: Incongruous Walls

Toledo has been a settlement since the bronze age. EVERYBODY and their dog has been here and put up some edifice, including the Visigoths, the Romans, the Moors, the Jews…. As a result, the town was declared a UNESCO world heritage site. This is excellent from a tourism perspective, but it also means that you cannot get rid of inconvenient bits of ancient architecture that may be in your way. Local residents, businesses and public institutions wanting to construct something of their own are forced to either integrate or work around such artifacts. The results can be slightly on the bizarre side.

A case in point is town walls in varying states of disrepair, which crisscross the entire city in an unpredictable fashion, and every time anyone starts digging anywhere within a 5km radius of the old town, another fragment rears its crumbly old head.

Let me show you a couple of examples:

Below is a piece of wall invading the Army Museum. I must confess, I don’t know who even built this thing, but it’s there, very noticeably so, completely incongruous with the structure of the museum.

Front entrance of the Museo De Ejercito (Army Museum) with its chunk of old wall sticking out

Front entrance of the Museo De Ejercito (Army Museum) with its chunk of old wall sticking out like a sore thumb

Museo de ejercito, Toledo

Here’s another gem, right in the middle of the restaurant Afileritos 24 just around the corner from me. It may look like this great big slab of wall was just plonked there as a piece of rustic decoration, but, in fact, it’s been there for the best part of two thousand years, courtesy of the Romans.

Behind the wall is a toilet cubicle, and the bar is just to the right

Behind the wall is a toilet cubicle, and the bar is just to the right

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