The roads of Cuenca leads to Arcas del Villar!

So I am on a binge on taken you to seldom seen places of my beloved Spain, after all driving is heavens here in Spain ,everything under the Sun! We drove many years around here with wonderful memories of my dear late wife Martine and the boys, always on the road warrior syndrome to find jewels in the arid lands of Don Quijote!

And we arrived in the Province of Cuenca , in the autonomous region of Castilla La Mancha to the nice small town of Arcas del Villar and its wonderful Church. I like to tell you a bit more on this off the beaten path jewel.

It is located 8 km from Cuenca  by the N-420 road  ,very popular indeed ,at an altitude of 959 meters. The maximum level of the municipality is 1,273 meters and corresponds to Mount Talayuelo. It also has a mountain port, the Tórdiga at 1,200 meters. The town is crossed from east to west by the San Martín River and houses several of the lagoons called Lagunar de Arcas complex, declared a Natural Reserve.  The symbol of the town is the Romanesque Church of Our Lady of the Nativity, dated from the 13C.

If dwelling into nature, the Lagunar de Arcas or lagoons are here : Arcas lagoons, Lagunar de Arcas

The port Tordiga in the Mount Talayuelo is even more country and need specially a 4X4 vehicule. It is accessed by car by a dirt road in good condition that leaves from the slopes of the port of Tórdiga, in the south slope, and goes between fallows until entering the zone of the lower mount and woodland before the summit of Mount Talayuelo. Good for mountain walkers and nature lovers.

However, for this road warrior, the best to come and see here is the Church or Iglesia de la Natividad de Nuestra Señora. Church of the Nativity of Our Lady. The style is Roman turning into Gothic from the 13C. The exterior has a flat wall annex to the main building with arches to hold three bells and the front door romanique with five arches; the interior there is a nice Chapel dedicated to the Virgin of the Higa (fig) and a Christ.

arcas del villar

arcas del villar

It is a Romanesque transitional temple, from the 13C, from a single nave from which the presbytery is passed through a triumphal arch of half a point. It has a semicircular apse with a Romanesque window in the center and an eave with carved corbels. The entire apse is lined with ashlar stone.

Outside there are the belfry, apart but attached, with arches aimed at sheltering three bells and the Romanesque façade with five archivolts also targeted as it corresponds to the transition of both styles. Its decor is austere with bowel , except for the overall nave that has a very simple geometric decoration. The Capitals have a vegetal decoration.

Inside, both the nave and the presbytery are covered with coffered ceilings. It got a choir at its lower base, wooden. A side chapel covered by a vault was built in 1623. The image of the Christ and that of the Virgin of the Higa are venerated.

This church, a rare Romanesque specimen because of its situation quite south of the area of expansion of this style in the Iberian Peninsula.

arcas del villar

arcas del villar

arcas del villar

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here, and it is a nice off the beaten path way are

City of Arcas on heritage

Tourist office of region of Castilla La Mancha on Arcas

There you go another dandy find in lovely countryside of my beloved Spain, you need a car to see these beauties and well worth the price. Enjoy it

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


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3 Comments to “The roads of Cuenca leads to Arcas del Villar!”

  1. This is a region of Spain I yet have to explore. The church looks very interesting. I had never heard of the Lady of the Fig: what’s the story behind that?

    Liked by 1 person

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