plan your visit
Plaza del Salvador, S/N. Toledo
(+34) 925 251 232
(+34) 645 237 855
Open from monday to sunday.*
(Sundays and holidays courtyard entrance 10:00 - 11:30).
MARCH 1 TO OCTOBER 15
10:00 - 18:45 **
(Courtyard entrance: 17:45 - 18:45).
OCTOBER 16 TO FEBRUARY 28
10:00 - 17:45 **
Tickets and bracelets are sold at the monument ticket office.
General: 2’80 €
Reduced: 2’40 € *
Free: 0 € **
TOURIST BRACELET: 9€
ACCES TO THE 7 MONUMENTS
* January 1 and December 25 closed.
December 24 and 31 closed at 13:00.
** The ticket window closes 20 min. before.
* Accredited school groups.
** Under the age of 11. Accredited religious. Residents in Toledo.
SAVIOR CHURCH VISITORS OPINION
"The second mosque toledo"
In its archaeological remains enclosed by a little treasure that was part of the remains of what was the second mezquiita of Toledo. Beautiful and splendid.
"In its smallness is its greatness.Enter bracelet 8 euros !!!! Photography is allowed"
Of the 6 monuments that come with the bracelet 8 euros, this is what impressed me most.
"A must visit the underground"
Although not one of the most famous churches, excavations being made worth a visit to understand how each civilization has been built on the previous one.
This temple in San Salvador has various remains from late Roman and Visigoth buildings within its walls. In the 9th century it was a southeast facing mosque. It conserves a tower over the ancient minaret and, above all, a unique pilaster from the early Christian or Visigoth period, with scenes from the life of Christ.
Conversion into a church: The queen and the storm
The city’s historians record the medieval tradition which says that in around 1145, Queen Doña Berenguela of Barcelona, wife of Alfonso VII of Castilla, was surprised by a tremendous storm in the streets of Toledo, being forced to take refuge in this building, then the Great Mosque. Given that they would have prostrated themselves and offered up prayers to God when the storm passed, the King ordered the mosque to be converted into a church under the invocation of the Saviour; specifically, in the mystery of the Epiphany or the Adoration of the Kings, in memory of his own coronation in Leon. The historians also record the fact that the image of Queen Berenguela, now disappeared, was placed over the entrance arch.
The Modern Age
It had to be rebuilt after a fire at the end of the Middle Ages. Over the centuries of the Modern Age, new religious images were added while, at the same time, the building suffered from fire, looting and sale of church lands. In the baroque period, the top of the tower was added and the base of the same was plastered, concealing the Visigoth remains which have now been revealed.
Changes in the 19th and 20th century
At the beginning of the 19th century, damage was caused by the invading Napoleonic troops, who stole the silver lamps which lit up the temple, along with other valuable items; and in 1822, it suffered another fire, which destroyed most of the building, only the chapel of Santa Catalina escaping damage. The parish was abolished in 1842, its liturgical objects being handed over to the Episcopal Vicariate and to various parishes and monasteries in Toledo and the surrounding villages. In the 20th century, it underwent the liturgical changes arising from the Vatican II Council while, at the same time, becoming the headquarters for Fraternities with their traditional processions. However, its use as a place of worship diminished owing to the decrease in the number of faithful, and it became a subsidiary church of the Santo Tomé parish.
Interior of the Church
Roman temple, Visigoth basilica?
It has not been possible to demonstrate the existence of any building prior to the mosque, given that the level of excavation has not reached the Visigoth or Roman substrate. Nevertheless, there is a surprisingly large number of borders formed by Visigoth reliefs, and Roman cornices embedded in the walls.
The ancient mosque
From the conserved bonding and remains, it may be considered the most ancient mosque in the city; and the second most important, since it became the Great Mosque after the consecration of the previous Great Mosque as a church on the site of the present cathedral in 1085, following the conquest of Toledo by Alfonso VI. The remains of the ancient arcade of horseshoe arches with a limestone keystone, characteristic of Caliphate art, along with the minaret, whose bonding is similar to that of the first minaret of the Cordoba mosque, show the mosque to be dated from the first half of the 9th century.
The Muslim arcade
Later, as evidenced by an inscription in the Chapel of Santa Catalina, a nave was built in the 11th century. Rather than a simple alteration, it is believed to have been an enlargement of the space, due to its having become the Great Mosque. In 1950 this arcade of horseshoe arches, supported on six Roman capitals and a Visigoth pilaster, was rebuilt over the original end arches.
IGLESIA DEL SALVADOR
Over the last decade of its history, it has been the subject of diverse archaeological research projects, including the excavation of the parish court, the recovery of the original facing of the tower, concealed by the medieval and baroque alterations, the examination of the inside walls and, finally, the excavation of the gospel and main naves, revealing the floor of the original 9th century mosque, with its surrounding enclosure, containing a courtyard with a well and differentiated doors, as well as the evidence, in foundations and walls, of the documented 11th century enlargement, consisting of the addition of a complete nave, whose base is in the present arcade of horseshoe arches.
The enclosure and the accesses
In the position of the present entrance arch under the slate stairway, was the entrance arch to the enclosure, of which remains of the granite ashlar work jambs can still be found. At this point, the original materials reach a height of eight metres, as in the kiblah wall, whereas in the side nave, five metres of the building, which may originally have been somewhat higher, have been preserved. These parts contain the same type of fabric. Behind the entrance arch, there may have been a small area of courtyard, which could also be entered via a lateral triple archway, whose remains are to be found over the side door of the church and whose capitals were probably reused in the rebuilding of the great arcade of horseshoe arches in 1950. Under the gospel nave has been found what appears to be the structure of a well, with the border buried and highly eroded.
The kiblah wall
This is the most important wall of the mosque, being the one which faces Mecca, in this case having a southeast orientation. It contains an ancient square-based mihrab located in the original Mudejar presbytery and, after the enlargement, moved towards the centre of the wall in the area of the present presbytery.
The courtyard is situated at the head of the apse, with an arcade made up of three columns with Roman and Visigoth capitals supporting four brickwork horseshoe arches, framed by alfizes and bordered by cornice of corbels, similar to that of the Cristo de la Luz mosque. On the floor, over the previous late Roman stratum, two older structures can be made out: an almagra and an enclosing wall from the 9th or 10th century, similar to a musalla, or element for marking out a sacred area or a zone of respect surrounding the mosque. When the building became a church, in 1180, the courtyard was made into a cemetery, in which some furnishings have been found, until the end of the 14th century, when it was sealed over with lime and gravel and the well was built.
The Visigoth pilaster
The Visigoth pilaster—early Christian for some—is one of the most ancient pieces, on which are represented four scenes from the life of Christ, who, despite his face having been scraped off by the Muslims, can be distinguished by his larger size and his postures. The scenes represented are: the Healing of the Blind Man, the Resurrection of Lazarus, Christ and the Samaritan Woman at the Well, and the Healing of the Woman with the Haemorrhage.
The chapel of Santa Catalina
Don Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, secretary of the Kings’ Council, rebuilt the church following the 15th century fire and added new chapels, among which stands out the chapel of Santa Catalina, now the property of the Counts of Cedillo, through a bull issued by Pope Alexander VI in 1496. Princess Juana of Castilla, born close to the square, was christened here. Some of the most important works of art to be found here are the magnificent altarpiece and the painting of the Calvary by Correa del Vivar of Toledo, with elegant figures, soft modelling and iridescent colours, influenced by the detailed drawing of his master, Juan de Borgoña, the monumental feeling of Rafael and Leonardo, the drama of Morales and the mannerism of Alonso Berruguete.
Works of art
The Main Chapel is presided by the small mid 16th century altarpiece, the work of Nicolás de Vergara el Viejo and Bautista Vázquez, with scenes of Christ's infancy and life of the Virgin that praise the Mother of the Salvador and which over the last few decades was to be found in the Santa María la Blanca Synagogue. There are also other baroque sculptures of interest, such as the images of the Calvary Fraternity: the Christ of the Faith from the 17th century, also reproduced in the panel of the ceramist Aguado, and the Virgin of the Rosary, an 18th century carving, restored in the 20th century.
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