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The art of the swords of Toledo

Toledo steel, from the city of Toledo, Spain, is a variety of steel that was very popular in the times of the Spanish Empire for the manufacture of weapons of war, especially swords.

The manufacture of swords dates back to Roman times, but it was under Arab domination and during the Reconquista when Toledo and his swordsmen's guilds played a fundamental role.

Toledo steel was the result of an alloy of iron and steel, for which the steel was uniformly distributed. This alloy was more flexible than others, which made it more resistant and manageable.

The swords made in Toledo consist of the blade and the handle. The term sheath designates the cover of the blade of the sword, where it rests when it is not in use.

Sheet - Three types of attacks can be made with the blade: puncture, cut and tear.

Handle - The handle includes all the part of the sword that allows the control and handling of the blade and consists of the handle, the knob and a simple or elaborate guard.

Sheath - The sheath is the protective covering on which the sword rests.

After its manufacture, the weapons underwent five tests of resistance and flexibility. One was "the knee", which consisted in bending the sword on a fixed support (often the knee) from the spike to the tip, proves that it was not resisted by most other swords.

The lead test consisted of taking the blade by the spike with the right hand and drawing with the tip a semicircle on a lead plate fixed on the wall and that line of the semicircle was as wide as the own part of the sword.

The test of the S consisted in proving the equality of the temper of the sword. The fourth test consisted in giving three strong cuts on a fixed iron helmet and filling and in the fifth test was examined on a pad if with the three previous blows the blade had some flaw.

Toledo is dedicated to the mass production of decorative replicas of swords and historical and fantasy daggers such as those seen in Hollywood blockbusters like The Immortals, The Lord of the Rings, Braveheart or Gladiator; as well as gala swords for armed forces of various nations.

In 2009, Toledo obtained the designation of origin label "Made in Toledo" for its craft products.

Source: Mundoespadas - Photo: Espadasdetoledo.com