Toledo (Latin: Toletum) is a city and municipality located in central Spain, 70 km south of Madrid. It is the capital of the province of Toledo and of the autonomous community of Castile-La Mancha. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986 for its extensive cultural and monumental heritage as one of the former capitals of the Spanish Empire and place of coexistence of Christian, Jewish and Moorish cultures. Many famous people and artists were born or lived in this city, including Garcilaso de la Vega, Alfonso X and El Greco, and it was the place of important historic events such as the Visigothic Councils of Toledo. As of 2005, the city has a population of 75,578 and an area of 232.1 km2 (89.59 square miles).
The cathedral of Toledo (Catedral de Toledo) was modeled after the Bourges Cathedral though it also combines some characteristics of the Mudejar style. It is remarkable for its incorporation of light and features the Baroque altar called El Transparente, several stories high, with fantastic figures of stucco, painting, bronze castings, and multiple colors of marble, a masterpiece of medieval mixed media by Narciso Tome topped by the daily effect for just a few minutes of a shaft light that this feature of the cathedral derives its name.
Toledo was home to El Greco for the latter part of his life, and is the subject of some of his most famous paintings, including The Burial of the Count of Orgaz, exhibited in the Church of Santo Tome.
Additionally, the city was renowned throughout the Middle Ages and into the present day as an important center for the production of swords and other bladed instruments.
A sword is a long-edged piece of metal, once used as a cutting and/or thrusting weapon in many civilizations throughout the world. The word sword comes from the Old English sweord, which cognates to Old High German swert, Middle Dutch swaert, Old Norse sverð (cp. modern Scandinavian sværd/sverd/svärd: Danish sværd, Norwegian sverd, Swedish svärd) Old Frisian and Old Saxon swerd and Modern Dutch zwaard, from a Proto-Indo-European root *swer- "to wound, to hurt".
A dagger (from Vulgar Latin: 'daca' - a Dacian knife) is a typically double-edged blade used for stabbing or thrusting. They often fulfil the role of a secondary defense weapon in close combat. In most cases, a tang extends into the handle along the centreline of the blade. Daggers may be roughly differentiated from knives on the basis that daggers are intended primarily for stabbing whereas knives are usually single-edged and intended mostly for cutting. However, many or perhaps most knives and daggers are usually very capable of either stabbing or cutting.
Nihontō (日本刀:にほんとう nihontō?), or commonly known as Katana (刀:かたな?) in the English community is a type of Japanese sword or longsword (大刀:だいとう daitō?). In use after the 1400s, the Katana is a curved, single-edged sword traditionally used by the samurai. Pronounced [kah-tah-nah] in the kun'yomi (Japanese reading) of the kanji 刀, the word has been adopted as a loan word by the English language; as Japanese does not have separate plural and singular forms, both "katanas" and "katana" are considered acceptable plural forms in English.
A two-handed sword, used as a general term, is any large sword that requires two hands to use, in particular: the European longsword, popular in the Middle Ages and Renaissance.
The oldest form of shield was a protection used to block attacks by hand weapons, such as swords, axes and maces or missiles like spears and arrows. Shields have varied greatly in construction over time and place. Sometimes shields were made of metal, but wood or animal hide construction was much more common; wicker and even turtle shells have been used. Many surviving examples of metal shields are generally felt to be ceremonial rather than practical, for example the Yetholm-type shields of the Bronze Age or the Iron Age Battersea shield.
A letter opener, or paperknife, is a knife-like object used to open envelopes or to slit uncut pages of books. Electric versions are also available, which work by using motors to slide the envelopes across a blade. These have the advantage of being able to handle a greater volume of envelopes, but the blade can slice into the contents of the envelope and damage them.