Travel tips and info on Cuenca, Spain.
Cuenca is a small city in Castilla-La Mancha in central Spain.
Cuenca is an easy train ride from Madrid and can be visited in a day. I went to Cuenca one cold winter day but with bright blue skies and sun it was pleasant and easy to spend most of the time outside.
What to see and do in Cuenca, Spain
From the Cuenca train station you can walk into the old city center via a winding path that will lead you to a bridge over the gorge, Saint Paul Bridge. The city of Cuenca is situated right on the edge of deep gorges. Before crossing the bridge you will come face to face with a magnificent building, the Parador of Cuenca. The Parador is a hotel that occupies the former convent of San Pablo. To read more about Paradores in Spain see “more information below.”
The gorges and steep cliffs of Cuenca resulted in the construction of very unique houses called Hanging Houses or Las Casa Colgadas. You will see these houses as you cross the bridge. These hanging houses were at one time common in the city. The houses cling right over the edge of the Huecar River Gorge.
From the hanging houses you can walk right up to the main plaza. The main plaza is very charming and surrounded by brightly colored buildings with balconies covered with flower pots and small shuddered windows. And here you will find the main Cathedral, Our Lady of Grace Cathedral.
The Cathedral in Cuenca is one of the most interesting Cathedral’s I have visited! The Cathedral was built from 1182 to 1270 but the façade was rebuilt in 1902 so the façade is in extremely good shape. The interior is a jumble of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architectural elements and the altar is surrounded by little chapels that are all different.
From the Plaza Mayor explore the streets and you will find steep cobble stone paths lined with brightly painted houses, pathways along the gorge, small stone churches, and more. Cuenca has a small and charming historical center with dramatic vistas of the gorge and should be on your list of places to see in Spain!
1 – Cuenca is another city on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list!
2 – A Parador is a hotel that usually occupies an old castle, monastery, palace, or other historical building in Spain. Paradores can be found is almost all of the major cities in Spain. The hotels are state run and guarantee the preservation of historical buildings. For more information and a list of all of the Paradores in Spain click here.