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Toledo in eleven sculptures or how to see the city from the other side

TOLEDO.- Kings, writers, sportsmen, meeting and remembrance; in concrete, bronze or stone, the city of Toledo, its past and present can also be explored through the sculptures that dominate the public spaces.

An authentic open-air museum, not yet formalized despite numerous promises and announcements over the years, which nevertheless offers those who visit the city the opportunity to get up close and personal with the sculptures of more or less famous artists, but which have left a mark . around the city with his work.

A small sample is these ten suggestions to tour the capital of Castile-Manchego through sculpture, although there are many more existing works.

A route that the visitor can start as soon as he arrives in the city, if he does so by entering the Madrid motorway. Here he accepts all who come monumentally equestrian statue of Alfonso VIthe work of Luis Martín de Vidales, which, although when the decision was made about its location – almost 20 years ago – caused great controversy, claiming that it would detract from the fame of the “monument” that is the city of Toledo itself, today this is not questioned. .

The statue began to be installed in November 2003, its weight is more than six tons. From a height of ten meters, on a base imitating a rock, the king looks towards Toledo, raising his sword captured by the blade, thereby refusing to fight when taking the city. Around it is a large crown, in which the author wanted to collect the thoughts of the king about the city he had conquered.

But before directing his steps to where Alfonso VI directs his gaze, the visitor can meet another monarch, whose 8th century is celebrated in this particular year, Alfonso X.

The equestrian sculpture of Alfonso VI caused great controversy in 2003, when it was decided to place it at the entrance to the city. The sculpture of Alfonso X, located in the Park of the Three Cultures, was restored on the occasion of the 8th century. .

His sculpture, made elsewhere and moved – also surrounded by controversy then and now on the occasion of the commemoration – to the nearby Parc de las Tres Culturas, where it was moved in 1995. The work of the Murcian sculptor Francisco Toledo, opened in 1976 on the Paseo del Miradero depicts a monarch seated at a table between two blocks, which alludes to the Cantigas.

A statue that has been the subject of numerous acts of vandalism, painted and repainted, which has now been restored on the occasion of the 8th century using the original forms and restoring the original facing stone, pink limestone from Sepulveda. .

After this year’s obligatory visit to the celebration in honor of the patron of the Toledo School of Translators, the visitor can direct their steps towards the historic center of the city by entering the walled area through the Alfonso VI gate. Crossing the threshold, turning right, waiting for work on the square of the same name Meeting point VEduardo Chillida.

The meeting point of Eduardo Chillida V is in Plaza de Alfonso VI, a place chosen by the author.

A sculpture weighing 16 tons, built of concrete, donated by a Basque artist to the city of Toledo in 1981 and installed a year later as the first part of a future open-air sculpture museum that will run along the wall. that de facto has not yet seen the light of the day.

The work, forgotten for many years, vandalized and surrounded by parked cars, became the object of restoration and restoration of the environment in 2008, after constant complaints from the family, which came to consideration, given the negligence of the authorities, a lawsuit. sculpture.

From here the visitor can continue his sculptural journey by climbing the Zocodover. Shortly before reaching Miradero, at the confluence of Nunez de Arce with the beginning of Venancio Gonzalez, you will come across a sculpture in honor of another “famous” city, the cyclist. Federico Martin Bajamontes.

The Eagle of Toledo sculpture by Federico Martín Bajamontes has been on the rise in Socodover since 2018.

The statue that the city council and the Solissa Foundation wanted to pay tribute to the first Spanish winner of the Tour de France, Aguila de Toledo, considered the best climber of all time in the Gallic round. Sculpture by Valencian sculptor Javier Molina, installed on a symbolic rise in 2018.

Once in the Plaza de Socodover, following the arcades of the Government Delegation and descending the stairs of the Arco de la Sangre, wait Miguel de Cervantesthe work of Oscar Albariño, discovered in 2006 near the site of Meson del Sevillano, where the author of Don Quixote placed one of his exemplary novels, La ilustre mop.

Not far from there, in the square that also bears his name, there is a sculpture dedicated to another man from Toledo, Juan de Padilla. It was in 2015 that this bronze work by Julio Martín de Vidales was unveiled, dedicated to a community leader who will soon be nearly 500 years old from his death.

A sculpture that has not been seen for a long time since this tribute was first put on the table in 1993, although it did not see the light until twenty-two years later.

Just a few steps away, in the hidden Plaza de San Roman, another sculpture pays homage to another Toledo, poet and soldier. Garcilaso de la Vega. Also made by Martín de Vidales, although twenty years earlier than Padilla, it represents the poet, pen and sword in hand, looking towards the church of San Pedro Mártir, where his tomb is located.

From there you can go to the Plaza del Ayuntamiento, where in its lower part, next to the town hall, Cristina Iglesias installed her project. Three waters. As if an ancient underground channel has been opened under the rock, the water flows through the molds of molten metal, acting like a mirror when it is full and still.

The sculptural underground canal opened by Cristina Iglesias in Plaza del Ayuntamiento is part of a project with two other works in the city.

Work with defenders and detractors in equal proportions, which since 2014 has become another element of this iconic square, surrounded by the Primate Cathedral, the Archbishop’s Palace and the Town Hall, in which there are many who want to capture with a mobile or camera to convey their spectacular reflection.

Following the cobbled and narrow streets, the visitor finds himself in the center of the Jewish quarter. There, next to the Museo del Greco, is bust of Samuel Ha-Leviwho was treasurer to Pedro I of Castile.

Bust dedicated to Samuel Ha-Levi Monument to Saint Teresa de Jesus.

Almost at the end of the route, in a small garden against the wall, just a few meters from the Puerta del Cambron, is Monument to Saint Teresa of Jesustaken in 1985 by Luis Pablo Gomez Vidales after a public competition.

Finally, crossing the threshold of Puerta del Cambron, we find one of the last works opened in the city last January. Recumbentthe work of the Toledo sculptor Rafael Canogar, commemorates the victims of covid-19 from the Paseo de Recaredo.

Yacente, a work provided by Rafael Canogar, is dedicated to the memory of the victims of the pandemic on the Paseo de Recaredo.

There are many more works, routes and corners where sculpture has its place in Toledo. Another guide to enter and discover this World Heritage city.


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