Once upon a time, Spain’s famous Catholic Monarchs had grand plans for Toledo to be their final resting place. As such, and in commemoration of the victory of the Battle of Toro, they began building the Monastery of San Juan de los Reyes. Though ultimately the King and Queen were entombed in Granada, Toledo’s underrated monastery remains one of the city’s most intriguing sights.
The late 15th-century monastery is especially noted for its two-story cloister, featuring gardens, gargoyles, and an intricate Mudejar-style ceiling on the second floor. Listen carefully and you might even hear the chants of the monks. While outside the cathedral, take special note of the curious chains hanging from the façade: hung in 1494, they represent the prisoners freed from Muslim Granada, and the then triumph of Christianity in Spain.
Getting here will require a bit of an uphill trek, not unlike many other parts of town.