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Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Cuenca

Cuenca, is magnificently situated on the steep rocky slopes of the Serranía de Cuenca above the deep valleys of the Río Júcar and the Río Huécar. It is one of the most picturesque of Spain's old medieval towns, famous for its Casas Colgadas ("Hanging Houses").

This was the Roman Conca, which later fell into the hands of the Visigoths and then of the Moors, from whom it was liberated by Alfonso VIII in 1177. Thereafter it enjoyed special privileges as a frontier town and became the headquarters of the knightly Order of Santiago.

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Old Town

Old Town 1380
The old town of Cuenca has preserved much of its medieval aspect, with handsome old mansions sporting the arms of the noble families to whom they once belonged.

Plaza Mayor

Plaza Mayor 1394
The principal sights cluster in the southwest of Cuenca, around the Plaza Mayor, with the Ayuntamiento (Town Hall) on its west side.

Cathedral

Cathedral 1408
In the Plaza Mayor stands the Norman/Gothic Cathedral (12th-13th century); the facade was rebuilt after it collapsed in 1902. The richly decorated interior was left unscathed. The 18th century high altar by Ventura Rodríguez is separated from the rest of the church by magnificent grilles dating from 1557. The triforium in the ambulatory is the only one of its kind in Spain. In the north aisle is a very beautiful Renaissance arch, the Arco de Jamete. Two particular treasures are a "Mater Dolorosa" by Pedro de Mena (13th century) in the sacristy and a "Crucifixion" by Yáñez de la Almedina in the Capilla de los Caballeros.
Address: Plaza Mayor, E-16001 Cuenca, Spain

Cathedral - Treasury

Two carved walnut doors by Alonso de Berruguete give access to the chapterhouse, which contains the valuable cathedral treasury though some of the finest items are in the Diocesan Museum.

Cathedral - Diocesan Museum

Built on to the Cathedral is the Palacio Episcopal (Bishop's Palace), on the three lowest floors of which is the Diocesan Museum. Among its principal treasures are two paintings by El Greco (''Christ on the Cross'', ''Prayer in the Garden of Olives''), a 13th century Byzantine diptych from Mount Athos, fine pieces of goldsmith's work and valuable tapestries.
Address: Obispo Valero 1, E-16001 Cuenca, Spain

Casas Colgadas

Haning houses of Cuenca.
To the south of the Diocesan Museum, reached by way of Calle Obispo Valero, are the famous Casas Colgadas which overhang the Río Huécar (here spanned by eight bridges), with their balconies projecting over the abyss.

Museum of Spanish Abstract Art

Some of the houses on the Casas Colgadas are occupied by the Museum of Spanish Abstract Art, which displays in a series of attractive rooms more than 700 works by the best known Spanish artists from the 1950s onwards. It is the largest collection of modern Spanish art in the country after the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo and the newly established Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid.
Address: Casas Colgadas, E-16001 Cuenca, Spain

Museum of Cuenca

Museum of Cuenca 1410
Near the Hanging Houses is the Museo de Cuenca or Museo Arqueológico, which displays antiquities from the surrounding area. Among the most notable exhibits are a marble head of Lucius Caesar (A.D. first C.), a reconstruction of a Roman kitchen, Iberian dolls and other Roman and Visigothic items.
Address: Obispo Valero 6, E-16001 Cuenca, Spain

San Miguel

Northwest of the Plaza Mayor is the church of San Miguel, standing high above the gorge of the Río Júcar, which has a Mudéjar ceiling. Not far away is the octagonal church of San Pedro and further north the remains of the castle.

Festival of Religious Music

Festival of Religious Music.
This is held in conjunction with Cuenca's Holy Week celebrations.

Surroundings

Enchanted City (Ciudad Encantada)Enchanted City (Ciudad Encantada) View slideshow

Enchanted City

Visitors walking through the Enchanted City near Cuenca.
From Cuenca a road runs north up the wild and romantic valley of the Júcar, with beautiful views to the rear of the town and the valley, and comes in 36km/22mi to the Ciudad Encantada ("Enchanted City") - not a city but a fascinating geological feature. Here, in the course of many thousands of years, erosion has hewn out of the sedimentary rocks a stony labyrinth of crags and caves and lakes and waterfalls which, with a little imagination, can be seen to resemble a ruined city with its houses and streets and squares.

Mirador de Uña

From the "Enchanted City" a road goes north and then east to Uña, with a viewpoint (mirador) from which there are fine views of the Río Júcar and the artificial lake of La Toba.

Nacimiento del Cuervo

Nacimiento del Cuervo 1414
From Uña there is a more arduous excursion on a road which runs east and then north to Tragacete (35km/22mi), from which it is another 12km/ 7.5mi to the Nacimiento del Cuervo, the source of the Río Cuervo. The effort is rewarded, however, by the beauty of the spring, with the water emerging from moss-covered caves and tumbling over rocks into a pool.

Monasterio de Uclés

Monasterio de Ucles 1409
From Cuenca N 400 runs west to Carrascosa del Campo (57km/35mi), from which a minor road (CU 701) leads southwest to the monastery of Uclés, built between the 16th and 18th centuries, which was the headquarters of the knightly Order of Santiago. It has a very beautiful patio. In the crypt of the church (1529) is the tomb of the poet Jorge Manrique (1440-79). The refectory has a magnificent panelled ceiling with carved medallions containing portraits of Grand Masters of the Order and of the Emperor Charles V.

La Endiablada, Almonacid del Marquesado, Spain

On February third, the people of Almonacid del Marquesado hold a celebration in which they all disguise themselves as devils.

Science Museum

The museum offers displays on a variety of science related topics, including astronomy and evolution.
Address: Plaza de la Merced 1, Spain

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