Toledo is a city and municipality located in the center of the Iberian Peninsula. Toledo is considered the "City of the Three Cultures", having been influenced by a historical co-existence of Christians, Muslims and Jews.
Although being conquest by Christians (1085-1218) and Moors (712-1085, 1218 to data), Toledo continued to be a major cultural centre; its Arab libraries were not pillaged, and a tag-team translation centre was established in which books in Arabic or Hebrew would be translated into Castilian by Muslim and Jewish scholars, and from Castilian into Latin by Castilian scholars, thus letting long-lost knowledge spread through Christian Europe again.
In Al-Andalus Toledo was also the first city to be given local government by the decree that established a amanah or municipio (English: municipality) for its self government in local affairs. This came as condition for the capitulation of Toledo in 1218 (614–615 AH). The Caliph Muhammad al-Nasir recognized the fueros given out in the 12th century by the King of Castile. However the Governor would be the Sheik of Toledo.
The metal-working industry has historically been Toledo's economic base, with a great tradition in the manufacturing of swords and knives and a significant production of razor blades and medical devices. Toledo steel is famed for its very high quality alloy. Soap and toothpaste industries, flour milling, glass and ceramics are also important.
House of Knowledge
The House of Knowledge of Toledo is one of the major intellectual centers of the Iberian Peninsula. Established as a counterpart of the famous establishment of the same name in Cairo. Tough, in its first decades it mainly promoted the translation of philosophical and religious works, mainly from classical Arabic into Latin. Later it translated from or to languages such as Greek, Persian, Castilian, Hebrew, and Ladino. Including wider topics such as medicine, scientific and literary works. The work of the translators also promoted, the teaching and research along scholars of different nationalities and the printing of new texts.
The first translation efforts started at the library of the Cathedral of Toledo, later translators, editor and scholars would also work under private patronage in the madrasas and private residences. The later two would become important schools of translators, printing houses, libraries and academies. The overlap of the Cathedral of Toledo and madrasas and residences would become the foundation of the House of Knowledge of Toledo officially established in the 14th century.
It also become one of the main beacons of the Berber Renaissance of the 14th century when it started publishing the first encyclopedia in Berber.