The Alcazar

Castilla La Mancha
Landmarks and Historic Buildings

The Alcazar in Toledo is a palace built by Carlos V that today is home to the incredible Spanish Army Museum, the Museo del Ejercito, and the Castilla La Mancha Library. An imposing Spanish Renaissance style palace, the Alcazar was intended to be the new royal residence. However, by the time it was finished it had been decided that Madrid was to be the capital and it was therefore never used as a residence by the Royal Family except by some of Spain's widowed queens who lived here after their husband's deaths. The Alcazar was put to use for military purposes and has been the Crown Prison, army barracks and the Spanish Infantry Academy.

Reconstructed in 1940, a monument to those who defended the Alcazar during the Civil War was put in place in 1961. Inside the Alcazar today, the Army Museum is a fascinating journey through centuries of Spanish military history. One of the oldest museums in Spain, the Army Museum houses thousands of exhibits including knives, swords, armour, artillery, guns, flags, uniforms, medals and much more, predominantly from the 19th century onwards but also from medieval times. There are also some ethnographic exhibits from various cultures. English audioguides are available and much of the displays have English translations.

Places to visit nearby

Toledo in Castilla la Mancha is a fascinating historical city known as the 'City of Three Cultures' due to the way that Christians, Muslims and Jews all lived here together in the Middle Ages, and have all left their mark on...

Aranjuez in the Community of Madrid is a charming town of historic and cultural interest, recognised by UNESCO, and is famous for its Royal Palace which was the spring residence of the Spanish kings.

Madrid in the Community of Madrid is the bustling capital city of Spain, home to the seat of the Spanish king at the Palacio Real, and is famous for its brilliant arts museums and culture.

Nearby attractions

The Palacio Real is the seat of the Spanish kings in Madrid although, today it serves as a host for state diplomatic meetings and events rather than as the actual royal residence.

Visit the Monasterio de Santo Tomas and discover the 3 beautiful cloisters of this wonderful 15th century monastery. Meander through the small and sombre Tuscan-style Cloister of the Novitiate, the respectful Cloister of...