Toledo is located at 1736 feet (529 metres) above sea level on the Castilian Meseta (plateau), close to the very centre of the Iberian Peninsula. Toledo was capital of Spain from the Gothic epoch until 1560, which explains its impressive medieval architecture. Walking through its streets one feels like having stepped back into the Middle Ages. The historic city centre sits on a craggy rock, which is almost completely encircled by a wide meander of the Tagus River, called the Tajo in Spanish.
The Roman historian Tito Livio mentioned the city of Toletum, a term whose origin would be Tollitum, meaning "raised aloft". The city's historic centre is one of the largest in Spain, and has more than 100 monuments. Since 1987 Toledo has had UNESCO World Heritage status due to its unique history; the city was host to Christian, Islamic and Hebrew culture, and the architecture of the city reflects each of these influences. It is almost impossible to walk through the streets of Toledo without coming across an ancient mosque, a Gothic or Mudejar church, a Romanesque or Visigothic structure, a synagogue, or a Renaissance palace.