Sunday, December 9, 2007

Cuenca and Ciudad Encantada

View of Cuenca

Cuenca, the capital of Cuenca province is exactly between Madrid and Valencia (165km either way). It is built on top of a rock above the rivers Huécar and Júcar.

Cuenca is divided into the historical part on top of the hill and the new part at the bottom. In the new part are plenty of cheap hostals and shops, but otherwise not much else to see. We stayed at Posada los Tintes for 35 € a room. Nothing special but clean.

The historical part is a steep walk, we only discovered later that you can actually drive and park all the way up.

When you walk across the San Pablo bridge, you get the best view of the Casas Colgadas, the 'Hanging houses' which are built literally into the rocks.

You get to the Puente de San Pablo via Plaza Mayor. Plaza Mayor is also very pretty and very touristy. The cathedral has Gothic and Renaissance elements and is certainly worth a visit.

The Casas Colgadas from the Puente de San Pablo

The most fascinating attraction of Cuenca Province is Ciudad Encantada (The Enchanted City), about 25km northeast of Cuenca city. It is actually not a city at all, it is an area of amazing rock formations formed by water and weather. It is like a big park and after a small entry fee of 3 € you can enjoy a relaxing walk (1 ½ to 2 h) in a magnificent environment.

Most of the rock formations are labeled according to what they look like.

El Hombre (The Man)

Los Osos (The bears)

El Puente Romano (The Roman Bridge)

Las Barcas ( The boats)

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