Toledo, Ohio

Mash Up Toledo, Ohio vs. Toledo, Spain
Excerpt from a past edition of OhioTraveler

This month, while traveling around the world in Ohio, we discovered Toledo. That’s Toledo, Ohio, not Toledo, Spain. But we’ll tell you about both anyway.

“Holy Toledo!” is an exclamation of surprise. Its origin dates back nearly 1,000 years. As you can tell, we’re talking about Toledo, Spain, not Ohio. The reason for the saying is due to the significant impact three religions had on Toledo, Spain. Christianity, Judaism, and Islam were all integrated into the culture and eclectic architecture.

This diverse city was once best known for the Swords of Toledo. The hardness of steel and the quality of craftsmanship combined to produce the most sought-after weapons in the world. There are two world-class swordsmith firms dueling for business today. If you find yourself visiting, stop to see them.

Other attractions are the Alcazar of Toledo, an astonishing castle rebuilt after much destruction in 1936 during the Spanish Civil War. For the real heritage of Toledo, shop Zocodover – the main marketplace, and see the cathedral.

Spanish architecture also appears at the Toledo Zoo. Believe it or not, we’re talking about Toledo, Ohio, now. The two Toledos have developed sister-city relations, and the zoo decided to honor that tie. The Toledo Zoo was recently voted one of the top 10 family-friendly zoos in the U.S. by Child Magazine.

Whereas Toledo, Spain, was known for steel, Ohio’s Toledo is known for glass.

Toledo, Ohio’s glass heritage dates back to 1887 when a glass plant began production there. A glass inventor from Toledo, Michael Owens, created the first automated bottle-blowing machine forever changing the industry. In 1936, Toledo again posted a breakthrough in glass. An architectural milestone and new style were achieved with the world’s first building completely encased in glass.

In tribute to the Glass City heritage, the Toledo Museum of Art opened the Glass Pavilion in August 2006. It houses the museum’s treasured and internationally acclaimed glass collection and features glass-blowing demonstrations.

Sticking with the theme of innovation and invention, make sure to stop at COSI – Toledo. Center of Science and Industry (COSI) is a hands-on science center featuring unique exploration into the world of science and fun. Visitors can turn themselves into human yo-yos, ride a high-wire bicycle, and partake in many more hands-on experiments.

When it’s time to grab a bite, head over to Tony Packo’s Café, where famous people left their signatures…on buns! This eatery earned fame from M.A.S.H TV Show actor Jamie Farr who played the role of Corporal Klinger. Tony Packo’s other claim to fame is that its hot dog sauce was a delicacy on the space shuttle Columbia in 1997.

There you have it, the tale of two cities, Toledo.

If you are planning a visit to Toledo, Ohio, and want to learn more about the Glass City, visit Destination Toledo. If you are headed to Toledo, Spain, start planning your trip by clicking here.