It's like putting a puzzle together to really understand the real history of the city. Even though they said proudly that Toledo was the city where followers of three religions (could and used to) live in harmony and had brought Toledo to it's peak, there are no more trace of Islamic and Jewish culture in the community nowadays. Nobody openly said why that harmony no longer exists ...
What left is only some (used to be) mosque, building that had turned into a church and no longer used as any religious activity with some paintings of saints on its ceiling. There is also a synagogue that's no longer used as a place to pray, with some exhibition of some Jewish scripts and sketches. We can see though the prominent architectural influence from the two religions (that sometimes looks similar) toward what Toledo and Spain have today and be proud of.
I remembered how excited I was the first time I saw the station that looked very familiar and welcoming. How promising it would be to explore the place where Islam had played a big role in the history - seeing the proof of how advance they were. I was imagining how friendly the people would be to us and even the possibility to be able to pray in the historical mosque, house of Allah SWT, that's far away from home. At least two of them did not happen and to be able to see the first one you have to come with some prior knowledge & research in your head.
What I felt was the same when I saw Cusco in Peru. I saw that most of lower part of Inca's buildings became foundation of the new architectures of the new ruler. I can imagine the Inca was literally being crushed by the occupation, just because they had different view about life from the conqueror. I got this sad, devastated feeling, to know there is part of history that we wouldn't know unless you look for it. Facts that won't be explicitly stated in history books.
The trip to Toledo has opened my eyes, that it's my obligation to learn about the history & the truth, then pass it along to my own family, friends and community.
|Old City of Toledo|
|The Mosque of Cristo de la Luz|