Cuenca Tourist Attractions
Cuenca, chief town of its province and the see of a bishop, 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").HistoryThis 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.
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.
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
Opening hours: 11am-2pm, 4pm-6pm; Closed: Mon
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.
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
Opening hours: 11am-2pm, 4pm-6pm; Sun: 11am-2:30pm, 4pm-6pm; Sat: 11am-2pm, 4pm-8pm; Closed: Mon
Always closed on: New Year's Day (Jan 1), San Mateo Feast and Grape Harvest - Spain (Sep 20-25), Christmas Eve - Christian (Dec 24), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25)
Entrance fee: Adult Admission Cost, Concession or reduced rate Discount
Museum of Cuenca
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
Opening hours: 10am-2pm, 4pm-7pm; Closed: Mon
Always closed on: New Year's Day (Jan 1), Castile and Leon Day - Spain (Apr 23), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25), Day after Christmas, St Stephen's Day, Boxing Day (Dec 26)
Entrance fee: Adult Admission Cost, Group discounts Discount, Senior Free
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.
Map of Cuenca Attractions