The Gate of the Virgin in Cañete, province of Cuenca !!!

And back running to my beloved Spain to update this wonderful off the beaten path nature lovers corner of the Province of Cuenca in the autonomous community of Castilla La Mancha. I have been all over here sometimes not enough pictures but been there, road warrior , or family trips it has been many over the years. I like to tell you a bit on an off the beaten path area of it. This is Cañete , a very old place, that needs to be discovered for the uniqueness of my Spain. Let me tell you a bit more on the Gate of the Virgin or La Puerta de la Virgen in Cañete. Hope you enjoy it as I.

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This is the kind of town visitors should head first to really feel Spain; its hard without the language and not used to driving, but it is all worth it for the experience. Try it!  The Puerta de la Virgen or  Gate of the Virgin, 12-13C to see it you go parellel to Calle Padre Lorenzo. The Gate of the Virgin is of direct access to the old Muslim wall and the opening is made in the wall itself!

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The Cañete castle is accessible on foot and is of Andalusian origin, it had several extensions, especially after the Castilian conquest. The last reforms are from the 19C, from the Carlist Wars. It stands on top of a steep, narrow and long hill, dominating the town, next to the Mayor del Molinillo river. Yes way up long march. The nice ruins castle or  Castillo de Cañete is on top of a narrow hilly area where you can look at the town below and the  Mayor del Molinillo river. You can see the Wall ramparts or Muralla de Cañete, the town in parts is surrounded by it with Moorish origins and Christians modifications inside you can see the gate or Puerta de las Eras,with a horseshoe arc and Moorish lettering. The medieval Muslim wall was departing from the Castle and completely ringing the population. It is in good condition and has interesting entrance gates. In some sections you can see some windows of the houses open to the outside of the wall. The gate of the Virgin is a small arch of half a point with trim kit, Romanesque type of the 12-13C. Next to it there is a small statue of the same time and belonging to the hermitage of the Virgen de la Zarza, although the rest of this temple is more modern.

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It is one of the three major accesses of the population open on the Islamic wall. Muslim work of the 10C, had several reforms after the Castilian annexation of the population, perhaps in the 12C or beginning of the 13C. It takes its name from the immediate hermitage of the Virgen de la Zarza, located next to the square where the pious tradition places the miraculous appearance of the patron Saint of Cañete in an imprecise moment on horseback between the 13C and 14C. It is the south gate of the wall and it facilitated the access to the west of the population, on the other side of the hill of the castle, as well as to the mountainous paths and cattle trails that were heading to the upper basin of the Guadazaón river. The gate, of modest dimensions ,only 2.5 meters wide by 4 meters of height to the key of the arc, was closed with two double-leaf gates, with exterior and interior, whose ranges are still preserved. All worth the detour !!

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A bit of history I like:

The town was the birthplace of Álvaro de Luna, a Castilian nobleman of the Luna family at the end of the 14C. He was Constable of Castilla, Grand Master of Santiago and worthy servant of King Juan II of Castilla. He is buried in the Santiago chapel, in the ambulatory of the Toledo Cathedral. During the Spanish Civil War of 1936, the Republican militias who arrived from the Levantine region devastated the parish church, the Chapel of San Julián and the Sanctuary of Our Lady or Nuestra Señora de la Zarza, destroying   the images that the Christian piety   safeguarded and as far as worship existed in its sacred precincts , and which later they dedicated to warehouses or garages ; likewise, in the last moments of the war they destroyed the two beautiful bells of the parish Church.  In addition, in 2015, it was discoverd a mount call locally El Cabezuelo or the big head with three megaliths steps that could be possible pyramids in steps the first in Spain. Even if the majority of experts believe is a Celtic Oppidum from the 3C.

The town of Cañete on the gate of the virginhttps://www.villadecanete.com/monumentos.php?ID=5

The Cuenca province tourist office on Cañetehttps://www.descubrecuenca.com/en/enclaves-y-poblaciones/la-serrania/canete-villa-de-canete-30

The Castilla La Mancha region on Cañetehttp://en.www.turismocastillalamancha.es/patrimonio/canete-64231/descripcion/

And there you go folks,another off the beaten path wonderful place in my beloved Spain. Cañete is old and nice and the Gates there are all wonderful and especially the Gate of the Virgin. Hope you enjoy it as I.

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

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