My beautiful memorable Cuenca!!!

I have to update this older post, and 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. You can read my many posts on Cuenca in my blog, and plenty of pictures, This post will be on my black and white series. Hope you enjoy it as I.

We rented a house in the adjacent Serrania de Cuenca mountains , 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 , but no matter the time, it will always be special to me, the boys and rememberance of our dear Martine.

Now let me tell you briefly on the history of that 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. As squeeze by the two rivers conca derives from a sort of bucket (Conca) and from that came Cuenca.

The old city of Cuenca has many things to see you will find again in my previous posts, However, some of the not to be missed me think are:

The St Mary and St Julian Cathedral built in gothic anglo norman style unique in Spain; next to it you find the Episcopal palace,  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 or Museo de Arte Abstracto Espanol ,

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. You need to climb the old city narrow cobblestones to the old Castle and the Puerta de Bezugo gate. The plaza Mayor is the meeting place and communication hub between the various routes in the old part of the city. The Church of Virgen de la Luz, dating from the 16C .  This Church is famous for housing the Black Virgin.

The Plaza de Toros (bullfighting arena) is located at Avenida de los Reyes Catolicos, s/n on the road out of town near the Parque de Santa Ana. The city center parque/Jardines de San Juliàn by Calle Caballeros ,where we had many nice lunches, The Tuneles Alfonso VIII (tunnels). These are underground passages showing life as it was in the time ,and serve as refuge during the Spanish Civil War. The rio Jùcar passing thru the city and the life of promenades in the shade very nice. It goes around the town up to the mountains and where we stayed. The Puente de San Pablo  (bridge) is a beam bridge that crosses the Huécar River.

The city of Cuenta has several museums other than the one above, it has the Museo de Cuenca museum located in the Casa del Curato in the San Martín neighborhood, it is a space created to deepen the history, traditions and culture of the province of Cuenca. The Museo Tesoro-Catedral museum (Cathedral’s treasury) located in the Episcopal Palace, adjacent to the Cathedral , The Museo Fundación Antonio Pérez , located in the former Convent of the Discalced Carmelites, since 1998 it houses the particular collection of contemporary works of art by the artist Antonio Pérez. And on the Cerro Molina hill there is the Palaeontology Museum of Castilla La Mancha, a space that also offers excellent panoramic views of the city. 

There is so much else to see and do. 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.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip to Cuenca and recommended trip me think are :

The city of Cuenca tourist office on its heritage : https://www.visitacuenca.es/es/ciudad-y-paisaje-urbano

The Province of Cuenca Tourist office on Cuenca:   https://www.descubrecuenca.com/en/rutas/la-capital/the-capital-7#ficha

The Castilla La Mancha region tourist office on Cuenca : http://en.www.turismocastillalamancha.es/patrimonio/cuenca/

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

You will do good to visit Cuenca, it will stay with us forever in my minds.  While vacationing in Las Majadas, Serrania de Cuenca my dear late wife began the pains with a checkup at the Hospital Virgen de la Luz of Cuenca. Of course, this lead thereafter to her passing from pancreatic cancer on April 30, 2018 in Vannes near our home. Never forget RIP .Nevertheless, many good times and many memories here for our family over the years, Hope you can bear with me on this ending and do come to visit Cuenca, its all worth it,

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

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