July 2, 2014 – Toledo.
In Toledo I visited a small exhibit on the Inquisition, and the demonstrations and illustrations of methods of torture and execution were horrifying , even to someone who has read about it and had some familiarity with it. So I go on a bit.
From my journal:
Drove the car from the expensive lot near us to a free one down the hill. The bus back up to Plaza de Zacodover.
Ate a great American breakfast for only €4 each. Walked to the Cathedral, then saw first the “Instruments of Torture” exhibit, then one on the Knights Templar.
The torture exhibit was really one on the Inquisition, specifically in Spain. It was depressing, disturbing, but also very informative. Left thinking about the motives of the perpetrators of such savagery… force, power, conformity, fear of dissent. Was also struck by the fact that the Inquisition not a small, evil sub-committee of the Church, but rather an institution that fed off and enlarged the widespread attitude that held terror, torture, legal injustice, all as means of force to bring wayward souls into “peace” with the church. It involved not only the church, the state and the populace, but in the church it involved all, from the top (Pope) to the bottom: the local clergy and citizenry (who gathered enthusiastically not only to observe but to participate in the cruel violence and the humiliation of the accused. The Golden Rule be damned. The level of barbarity is staggering. You have to look to not just methods, but also motives. Why?
The Templars exhibit was in Spanish, so not as informative for me. But they had some good examples of weapons and garb, some original, some reproductions.
Picked up some decongestant and went back to hostel for a nap, while Laura ran some errands.
We walked to the Cathedral and Plaza del Ayuntamiento, then to the Sephardic Museum – Synagogue of El Tránsito. Again, I enjoyed this less than I would have if it had English text.
Then the El Greco Museum. This was very good – there is a complete “Apostolate with Christ” series – but not great; it’s just too small a collection. I hope to view “Count of Orgaz” tomorrow at Santo Tomé.
We walked back to P.de Zacodover and ate before boarding a scenic tour “train” that took us around the city. Very nice.
Back at the Plaza we went in search of churros and chocolate. Not as good as he ones we had in Mont Blanc.