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“A delightful and perplexing edifice!”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Hospital de Tavera

Hospital de Tavera
Ranked #36 of 110 things to do in Toledo
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
1,096 reviews
603 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 558 helpful votes
“A delightful and perplexing edifice!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 4, 2012

I actually visited the Hospital de Tavera last March (2011). I had written about all the other things I saw in Toledo, but somehow forgot to do a review for this! I am here now to remedy this oversight.

So you are only allowed to visit the Hospital by guided tour, so when we visited there, we had to wait for a crowd to gather before our guide was ready to start. And we were the only two people in our group who were English-speaking - the rest were Spanish natives.

Perhaps part of this is a consequence of the Hospital's location. It is in the flat plains north of the hilly old city. The other two times I visited Toledo, I never got to the Hospital just because I never ventured outside the old city. But this time, we were staying at the Hilton Buenavista, which is a couple miles north of the old city, so it made perfect sense to take a taxi from our hotel to the Hospital to start our day's sightseeing.

So our guided tour began. And yes, there are many interesting rooms, all of them furnished as they would've been during the Renaissance, some with amazing paintings by people like El Greco. However, our guide was a bit kooky - her English was pretty good, but she interrupted herself frequently with little chuckles, and it seemed like a lot of phrases she used were direct translations from Spanish, i.e., not idiomatic English and therefore, confusing if not perplexing.

At the end we saw the wonderful chapel with Mr. de Tavera's (I forget if he was a bishop or what) tomb in the middle of it. The tomb showed signs of having been broken into pieces and then pieced back together again. We asked how it got broken - was there an earthquake or something? The guide said something about it got broke while they were moving it. Moving it from where? She couldn't say.

Then of course we weren't allowed to take any pictures. We also couldn't linger anywhere longer than the guide wanted to stay. So even though I wanted to look at the chapel longer, we had to go on to the next part, the crypt. Wow, what an amazing room! It is circular, and has the most amazing acoustics I've ever heard in my life. When you stand in the middle, you can hear what anyone else is saying, even if they are whispering, as if they were standing right next to you. Therese said it would be an incredible room to do a musical performance in, and I agree. I was going to do a little singing to see what it would sound like, but just then the guide showed up and shushed us. Talk about a killjoy! No picture taking, no linger anywhere, and no singing! Oh well, it is definitely a beautiful building, with lots of wonderful artifacts and artworks!

Visited May 2011
4 Thank Charming_Karl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Silver Spring, MD
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“A rare experience!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 31, 2006

A 16th century hospital built by Cardenal Tavera, just outside the walls of the old city of Toledo. It is a beautiful example of Spanish Renaissance architecture and features the original pharmacy and library complete with medicine bottles, etc., and huge leather-bound books containing the records of patients. Also an interesting collection of paintings scattered through the rooms. It can only be visited in the company of a staff member who takes you on a multilingual tour (English and Spanish in our case) and unlocks the rooms for you. We were there Sunday at noon and there were exactly four people on our tour. Without a crowd around it felt like we were back in the 16th century. An amazing experience.

6 Thank proemer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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