Day trip to Cuenca
Be content to act, and leave the talking to others.
-Baltasar Gracian, Spanish philospher

 

 

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Perched on the knobby spine of a limestone mountain above the Júcar and Huécar rivers, Cuenca is a medieval fortified town founded by the Moors in 714 AD.  It is best known for the hanging houses (casas colgadas) within the UNESCO-listed historic walled city.  UNESCO says that the Castilians conquered Cuenca in the 12th century and converted it into a royal town and bishopric with Spain's first Gothic cathedral, so this melding of architectural styles is fascinating to see.

Cuneca's walled city is not that big (I guess building on a mountain ridge doesn't provide many options for expansion), so my visit consisted of walking up and down the main street and crossing the St. Paul Bridge by the hanging houses.  Under the brutal sun, I had little motivation to explore Cuenca beyond the old walls.  I took the high-speed train from Madrid and found it to be expensive ($70 for a round trip) and time-consuming when factoring in the half-hour bus to the city center, so reflecting on my day trip to Cuenca, I had a pleasant time but would have been okay skipping it.

 

Historic walled town

 
 

 

Hanging houses (casas colgadas)

 
 

 

 

Convent of San Pablo (currently a hotel)

 
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Landscape & views