Ranked among the greatest Gothic structures, the cathedral actually reflects several styles, since more than 2 1/2 centuries elapsed during its construction (1226-1493). Many historic events transpired here, including the proclamation of Joanna the Mad and her husband, Philip the Handsome, as heirs to the throne of Spain.

Among its art treasures, the transparente stands out -- a wall of marble and florid baroque alabaster sculpture overlooked for years because the cathedral was too poorly lit. Sculptor Narcisco Tomé cut a hole in the ceiling, much to the consternation of Toledans, and now light touches the high-rising angels, a Last Supper in alabaster, and a Virgin in ascension.

The 16th-century Capilla Mozárabe, containing works by Juan de Borgoña, is another curiosity of the cathedral. Mass is still held here using Mozarabic liturgy.

The Treasure Room has a 228kg (500-lb.) 15th-century gilded monstrance -- allegedly made with gold brought back from the New World by Columbus -- that is still carried through the streets of Toledo during the feast of Corpus Christi.

Other highlights of the cathedral include El Greco's Twelve Apostles and Spoliation of Christ and Goya's Arrest of Christ on the Mount of Olives. The cathedral shop, where you buy tickets to enter, stocks a variety of quality souvenirs, including ceramics and damascene.