On our first day we were exploring Madrid on foot, and entered the Plaza Mayor on foot. As we passed through this attractive arch we noted an inscription stone dedicated to the Rising in Madrid on 2 May 1808
Next day we visited Segovia. As far as I know nothing of particular interest happened here during the Napoleonic period. We spent the day walking around the town, which is famous for its Roman Aqueduct and its Arab Fortress or Alcazar. As we entered the grounds of the latter we found this impressive monument to the Spanish troops who fought against Napoleon.
Our best find was the Spanish Army Museum in Toledo. We only had one day in Toledo, and we had to choose between a visit to the Cathedral or the Army Museum – the museum won. It is a relatively new museum and is housed in the impressive Alcazar in the middle of the city.
We were delighted to find a special display of military models, many of them Napoleonic. The figures were well displayed and we spent so much time on this display that we had to rush the rest of the visit.
Although it is a new museum, the permanent displays are not up to the standard of the special display. We were very disappointed in the Napoleonic section. It consisted mostly of paintings, plus a few exhibits which were poorly lit and the captions almost impossible to read.
The same was true to a large permanent display of model soldiers. They were set in the wall at about waist height (perhaps for young children to see) and were poorly lit. So it was impossible to see the detail or enjoy the painting. The only similar large collection I have seen was at Kulmbach in Germany about twenty years ago. That, by comparison, was well displayed. The figures were all in dioramas, all well lit and all at head height. A sort of platform was provided by each display for children to reach the required height. What a shame that the Toledo was not the same.
In addition we were not allowed to take any photographs, and there were no postcards of the model soldiers available.
The museum is well worth a visit, but what a shame that the model soldiers are not displayed to their best advantage.