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The Alcazar of Toledo

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The Alcazar of Toledo
The Alcázar of Toledo is a stone fortification located in the highest part of Toledo, Spain. Once used as a Roman palace in the 3rd century, it was restored under Alfonso VI and Alfonso X and renovated in 1535. During the Spanish Civil War, nationalist Colonel Jose Moscardo Ituarte held the building against overwhelming Spanish Republican forces in the Siege of the Alcazar. The incident became a central piece of Spanish Nationalist lore especially the story of Moscardó's son Luis. The Republicans took Moscardo's 16-year old son Luis hostage, and demanded that the Alcazar be surrendered or they would kill him. Luis told his father "Surrender or they will shoot me," his father replied "then commend your soul to God, shout 'Viva Cristo Rey' and die like a hero."

Moscardo refused to surrender. Contemporary reports indicated that the republicans then executed Moscardó's son. Other historians have reported that Luis was not in fact shot until a month later "in reprisal for an air raid. The dramatic story also camouflages the fact that the fate of a number of male hostages, mainly from the Guardia Civil, taken into the Alcazar at the beginning of the siege is unclear. Some sources say the men "were never heard of again". However at least one journalist who visited the Alcazar in the immediate aftermath of its liberation saw a number of prisoners chained to a railing in a cellar.

The events of the Spanish Civil War at the Alcázar made the structure a symbol for the Spanish Nationalism and inspired the naming of El Alcazar, a far-right newspaper that began during the civil war and ended during the Spanish transition to democracy as the mouthpiece for Bunker, a faction of francoists who opposed reform after Francisco Franco's death.

By the end of the siege, the building had been severely damaged. After the war, it was rebuilt and now houses the Castilla-La Mancha Regional Library ("Biblioteca Autonomica") and the Museum of the Army ("Museo del Ejercito").


Coordinates: 39.858084° N 4.020631° W


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Toledo, Spain: Tours, cards and activities

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