My beautiful Cuenca!!!

And I have reach out in my soul to speak about Cuenca. For many years, I have convinced my dear late wife Martine to come to Spain on vacations. She was always very gentle in agreeing with me and we came to my beloved Spain, Madrid and the Castillas, the soul of the kingdom of Spain. Over the years, she became very attach as well, and who would’nt , Spain is very friendly very family very traditional and just great!  She love it as I do; and of course our boys too.

From friends I gather forces to bring them all and rented a house in the adjacent mountains (the theme of my next blog post), and of course our base for all was Cuenca. Very nice memories with the family walking its streets not only from a tourist point of view but from a local enjoyment of eating and shopping like the natives. Do not know when will be back here, but no matter the time, it will always be special to me, the boys and rememberance of our dear Martine.

I have written before on it of course, see my previous blog entries on Cuenca for reference below

Casas Colgadas de Cuenca

Home base at Cuenca

Cuenca is UNESCO

More on the hanging houses of Cuenca

Magnificent Cathedral of Cuenca

Now let me tell you briefly on Cuenca. A bit of history I like.

Cuenca is in the province of Cuenca, it’s capital and in the autonomous region of Castilla-La Mancha.  It is one of the most beautiful medieval Spanish cities and an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located in the mountains of same name (Serrania de Cuenca) on the canyons of the Júcar river and its tributary the Huécar river.  The city is divided in two sections, one is the old town located in a rocky hill surrounded by the  canyons of the Júcar river on the north and the Huécar river on the south that throws itself on the lower part of the old town  just before the bridge of  San Antón.  On the west and south of the old town  separated by the Huécar river, you have the new town. The altitudes here are high from 920 meters in the new town to over 1000 meters in the old town.

By the 9C there was a fortress here called Conca  built by the Moors that were under the emir of Valencia in the times of the king of the  Taïfas.  This fortress passed later to the king of Sevilla  Al-Maramit,later to the  Almoravides, and finally to king Alfonso VIII of Castilla.

It has many things to see you will find in my previous posts above. However, you cannot missed under any circumtances the St Mary and St Julian Cathedral built in gothic anglo norman style unique in Spain; next to it you find the Episcopal palace and a nice museum.  The Casas Colgadas or hanging houses are another must to come here ,built in the 14C and very nicely restored, plunging on the rocky canyons of the Huecar river. They now host a restaurant and a museum of Spanish Abstract Arts.

Cuenca

Cuenca

There is the wonderful Plaza de las Angustias (square of the sorrows) in the lower old town near the Júcar river, small and tree lined where there is an image of the Virgin of Angustias in baroque style. Go up and down to see the Clock Tower or Torre Mangana  built in the 16C on a defensive style architecture like a middle ages bunker. Today it is a symbol of the city of Cuenca.

Cuenca

There is so much else to see and do, again take a look at my previous blog posts. The main festivities here are those of San Mateo (St Mathieu) by September 18-21 commemorating the conquest of Cuenca by king Alfonso VIII of Castilla in 1085. During this festival the groups or  peñas filled the streets with colorful costumes, music and the traditional Zurra ( a drink of wine, fruits and other secret ingredients) ,and you run around the cows in a place on the big square. The other is the Holy Week or Semana Santa celebration declared of international tourist interest of Spain.

Again so much to see and do. Some webpages to help you plan your visit here are

Tourism info from the city of Cuenca in Spanish : http://turismo.cuenca.es/portal/lang__es/tabid__9376/default.aspx

UNESCO world heritage site on Cuenca : http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/781/

Tourist office of the Province of Cuenca in Spanish: http://www.descubrecuenca.com/es/rutas/la-capital/la-capital-7#ficha

Tourist office of the region of Castilla La Mancha in English: http://en.www.turismocastillalamancha.es/patrimonio/cuenca/

You will do good to visit Cuenca, it will stay with us forever in my minds.  Many good times and many memories here for our family.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

ps for the anecdote, I just realized this is my 1502 post in my blog; wow, cannot believe done this, thank you all for your support since 2010. Cheers

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