The mysterious Caves of Hercules in Toledo

Hercules caves Toledo
Fortunately, we don’t need to leave Spain to see really amazing places. And it is that throughout the territory we can discover high mountains, lush forests, beaches of all kinds, volcanoes, waterfalls, mysterious caves, important monuments and historical buildings, charming cities and towns … As you can see, the tourist attractions of our country are countless.

Today we want to stop at one of those places in Spain where we can enjoy many of the attractions that we mentioned before. We refer to Toledo, a city in which, among other interesting places, we can discover the Caves of Hercules , underground spaces dating from Roman times that are located in the heart of the city. Do you want to know more details about this important historical site? Well, you will have to join us!

Under the Church of San Ginés

The Caves of Hercules, which are located under the site once occupied by the Church of San Ginés , precisely at number 3 Callejón de San Ginés, are a place full of history and legend. And it is that what today is a network of crosses, labyrinths and galleries, years ago it was a place that hid black magic, treasures, legends and disasters.

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The legend

According to legend, these caves correspond to a palace that Hercules built to hide the misfortunes that threatened Spain. Apparently, these threats would be fulfilled the moment a king entered the place, something that, logically, happened. It is said that it was King Rodrigo who opened a forbidden chest, thus triggering the end of the Visigoth kingdom, which fell at the hands of Islam . From that moment, many disasters were linked to the caves, so in the 16th century a cardinal ordered the entrance to be bricked up so that the evil would stop affecting the city. In fact, it was not until 1839, when the Church of San Ginés, which was located just above the cave, was demolished, that the mysterious passageways were accessed again.

Important historical buildings

Leaving aside the legends, the place where the Caves of Hercules are located has a great historical importance for having housed different buildings throughout the centuries. For example, in Roman times, specifically in the 1st century, a water reservoir was built here that had the function of supplying the entire city of Toletum . According to the latest research, the tank was rectangular in shape and measured 6 meters wide, about 11.5 meters long and around 4 meters high. It is also known that it was made with small stones and a mixture of lime, plaster and sand, and special hydraulic cement inside. Centuries later, already in Visigothic times, a Christian temple was built over the deposit and, later, a mosque. It was in the 12th century when a temple dedicated to San Ginés was built in that same place.

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After learning about the legends and history that revolves around this place, don’t you feel like getting into the Caves of Hercules? Well, you can do it for free from Tuesday to Saturday.

Much more to see

Toledo, a city declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, has much more to offer. And it is that considered by many as a " Second Rome ", it combines history, culture and a lot of charm in its streets. Not in vain have three of the most important cultures of all time passed through this city, such as the Muslim, the Hebrew and the Christian. For this reason, it is possible to find here churches, synagogues, mosques, walls, convents, bridges, towers and all kinds of historical monuments.