UNESCO World Heritage Cities - Cuenca in Spain

Dec 15, 2021
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Cuenca (Castilla La Mancha, Spain) is a city to rest, not to visit in a hurry. A city to see from the inside, strolling through its streets, entering its monumental corners; and to contemplate from the outside, from the other side of the Júcar; to see it bathed by the sun or illuminated by night. To see the constructions of man and those of nature. To discover the hidden secrets of alleyways, façades and narrow streets, or to be invaded by the imposing cathedral, or to immerse oneself in the enveloping monuments of the Plaza Mayor; for the history of art or contemporary abstract art.

The city that overlooks the Júcar hanging from the wall that supports it is, deservedly, a World Heritage Site and invites from its perch to walk through it calmly, taste it and take it with you. Cuenca is the city that does not summarise itself, it summarises us and makes us vulnerable to its splendour and beauty.

Perched on the rocky ledge above the Huécar gorge, the Hanging Houses are an indisputable symbol of Cuenca and true jewels of popular Gothic architecture. Made of masonry with ashlars at the corners and set on corbels, they look out over the river from their cantilevered wooden balconies over the cliff.

Only three of these houses can be visited: the Casa de la Sirena, which houses an inn where you can taste the tradition, and the Casas del Rey, where you can see original construction elements inside, such as the wooden beams, and which house, to everyone's delight, "the most beautiful small museum in the world": the Museum of Spanish Abstract Art.

The construction of the Cathedral of Santa María la Mayor in Cuenca began during the reign of Alfonso VIII in 1196, after the city was reconquered from the Muslims in 1177, and was built on the site of an old Arab mosque.

The building is Gothic in style, with French influences brought by the wife of Alfonso VIII, Dª Leonor de Inglaterra or Plantagenet, being the first church, together with that of Ávila, of this style to be built in Castile.

The province of Cuenca has an extraordinary beauty with villages such as:

- Belmonte and its imposing castle
, a building dating from 1400 that conserves Mudejar and Gothic details and original elements from five centuries ago.

- Or Uclés, a beautiful town of Celtiberian and Roman origins that seems to be anchored in the past. Surrounded by the remains of its walls, its towers, ever vigilant, watch the passing of the centuries unchanged. And at the top, on a hill overlooking the village and the river Bedija, stands the Monastery of the Order of Santiago
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