“Toledo, an ancient walled city in central Spain, has been the center of sword making for thousands of years. The city’s weaponry history dates back to the Roman Empire, when emperors took a liking to the blades crafted in Toledo due to their strength and quality.
“Today, there are a small number of craftsmen carrying on their family’s ancient traditions. Come along as we meet the artisans that create these magnificent blades, and the practitioners that still fight with them.
“Toledo impresses on several fronts. The first, of course, is the location. The city sits on a mountaintop, surrounded on three sides by the Tajo River. From a distance (or from the train station), it looms above the surrounding countryside. And once in Toledo, you find a city whose historic center—a maze of narrow lanes—remains much as it was in the Middle Ages. Walking through the back lanes of old Toledo is like walking through history.
“And what a history it is. Important since late Roman times, Toledo was part of Moorish Spain for centuries. It became known in the early Middle Ages as a city where Muslims, Christians, and Jews co-existed, all contributing to the city’s considerable reputation as a center of learning. Today, as a result, Toledo is known as the “City of Three Cultures.””
Follow this video with combat demonstrations in fifteenth-century suits of armor and The Swordmaker: A last Japanese swordsmith forges a sword.