Cuenca, Castilla la Mancha
Freedom of spirit and hanging loose
Cuenca is the capital city of one of the largest of the Spanish provinces. The city is situated on a rocky outcrop and is bounded to the north by the impressive hoces (rocky valleys) of Huécar and Júcar.
The old town comprises narrow streets, a remnant of the days when the city formed part of Arabic Spain, and is filled almost to brimming with monuments, each one designed to leave the visitor almost breathless with the amount of the ancient world that has remained almost untouched to be enjoyed by us, the later generations.
In reality there’s not much in Cuenca that isn’t worth a visit. The city, and the old city in particular, is filled with ancient and not so ancient constructions that, in some case, defy imagination.
One of the oldest places in the city is the old Barrio of San Martín. Here, traces of romanic churches have been found and remains of the city wall that once surrounded the city are also located here. While walking the streets, the visitor can’t help but be impressed by the really amazing views that greet her.
The Plaza Mayor is the centre of the city and spiritual heart of the city. The twin magnificent buildings of the cathedral and the ayuntamiento provide a reminded that this city has a long history that stretches unbroken into the remote past.
The imposing cathedral was built in the 12th and 13th century in gothic style but it wasn’t finished until several hundred years later. It is filled with religious art and exquisitely made artefacts.
The spectacular hanging houses of Cuenca have to be seen to be appreciated, because they really do hang. This strange collection of houses has been converted into the symbol of the city and has a medieval origin. Its construction seems to defy the natural forces of gravity and it’s a marvel to imagine that these houses have been in this location for centuries. The connection to a spectacular iron bridge only adds to its mysticism as a supreme tourist attraction.