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Ucles, Cuenca

Nobility and heritage, built on sand

Inhabited since pre-history, Uclés was originally a Celtiberian settlement that took on particular importance during the Moorish period. Part of a territorial division known as Cora de Santaver, an important city during that time, it became a site for a cathedral, a mosque and arabic baths. After the reconquista (re-conquest of Iberia) its importance grew when it became the seat of one of the most powerful of the crusader Orders, that of Santiago.

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This small town boasts one of the most complex monasteries of the country and is worth a visit simply to get a flavour of the lost history of the country. This building, started in 1529, during the reign of Carlos V, is of Plateresque and Herrerian style. Now it sits on top of its lonely hill, a testament to greater times when religious sentiment took precedence over everything.

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