Mazmorras de la Posada de la Santa Hermandad

Useful Information

Location: Posada de la Hermandad, C. Hermandad, 2, 45001 Toledo.
(39.857286, -4.022576)
Open: All year Mon-Fri 10:30-19:30, Sat 10-21, Sun 10-22.
Fee: Adults EUR 5, Children EUR 4, Families EUR 16.
Classification: SubterraneaCellar
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Mazmorras de la Posada de la Santa Hermandad, Posada de la Hermandad, C. Hermandad, 2, 45001 Toledo.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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1476 Santa Hermandad created.
1498 the Bourbons reduced their priviliges, and they became police and monitored the mountains.
07-MAY-1835 Queen Elizabeth II dissolves the Brotherhoods by decree.
03-MAR-1920 declared an Artistic Architectural Monument.
1998 prisons opened to the public.


The Mazmorras de la Posada de la Santa Hermandad (Dungeons of the Inn of the Holy Brotherhood) is an underground prison. The name is quite long, and there is a lot to explain. The Santa Hermandad Vieja de Toledo was founded in the 13th century with the aim of protecting the land between the Tagus and Guadiana rivers which was lawless and depopulated after the battle of Las Navas de Tolos. The Catholic Monarchs unified all the existing brotherhoods in the kingdom to form Santa Hermandad (Holy Brotherhood), which was a sort of religious police. Their purpose was to ensure compliance with the law and prosecute criminals. Like Judge Dredd they were police, judge and executioner, though not in one person. Their court judged very often in summary proceedings, which is why the Brotherhood was not only respected but also feared. They were called cuadrilleros, some say because they moved in groups of four soldiers, others say it's because their arrows ended in a metallic tip with a quadrangular section called quadrillos. Their uniform consisted of a vest and a green shirt.

This building served as their headquarters and prison in Toledo. In the 18th century it was sold and converted into an inn.

The former headquartes is today a museum. At the moment there is an exhibition of Catapults and Siege Engines. Models of various sizes are on display in the different levels of the building. But the underground is the former prison or dungeon. Four vaulted rooms are closed with bars, the prison was intended for up to 40 prisoners in such a cell. The cells are located around a so-called courtyard of light, a sort of shaft which was open and let daylight in.