Toledo is one of the most important cities in Spain, from an historical, artistic and architectural point of view. Toledo was the capital of the Spanish Visigothic kingdom from 554 AD until the Moorish conquest in 711 AD. The Old City still shelters behind the ramparts which were built, on Roman ruins, by King Wamba the Goth and then strengthened and enlarged by Arabs and Christians alike. For three centuries Toledo was incorporated into the Emirate of Cordova only regaining its independence in 1012 AD.
In cultural terms, Toledo's most brilliant period was in the Middle Ages, when the civilisations of East and West - Moorish, Jewish, and Christian -coexisted there, to produce the distinctive Mudejar style of art and architecture, in which the dominant influence remains Islamic. The Puerta Antigua de Bisagra was erected during the Arab fortification of Toledo in the 9th Century, and it was through this gate that Alfonso VI entered Toledo as conqueror in 1085 AD. On the other side of the Antigua Bisagra, the Arab ramparts have survived intact, and the space in front of them was cleared in the early years of this century. The first phase of the project was to demolish all the houses which backed against the ramparts between the two gates, to a depth of about 5or 6 metres. A paved walk was then created along the inside of the ramparts, and those houses which had suffered partial demolition only were given new facades or reconstructed in a traditional manner.