Cuenca: A Small Town on the Edge

Cuenca made its mark by it´s hanging houses or Casa de Coglada. They sit on a steep cliff overlooking a vast land of geological wonders.  The city is built look down on a vibrantly green canyon with a river swiftly rushing through it.  This small city is one of the most well-preserved medieval towns in the country with alleys and stone walls.  One can imagine the busy townspeople with their mules dodging in and out of alleyways on their way to work.

History

Cuenca’s Walled Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  The town was first built by the Moors to defend Cordoba. It was eventually conquered by the Castilians in the 12th century.  This monument is mostly noted for how well preserved. This medieval town has remained.  The hanging houses are somewhat a mystery.  There is not a lot of information about the hanging houses of their historical significance or the strange eyes painted on the hill.

Getting There

Cuenca is a two hour trip by train from Madrid. While it still hasn’t knocked down Toledo as my favorite Madrid daytrip, it was still a lovely afternoon.

Exploring

My friend Haydee sparked the idea for a daytrip to Cuenca.  First, we took the early 8AM train to Cuenca.  Then we walked around the small city, visiting shops and exploring the local park.  It’s a lovely town but it is much bigger than I expected. 

Then with the guidance of a train attendant, we slowly went up the hill to the hanging houses.

We had to cross a long bridge and I was terrified.  My friend Haydee and I ran across the crwoded bridge wondering how the ancient architecture could stand the weight of all these tourists and their giant cameras.

 

In the distance we could see colorful rock cliffs carved into the sides of the canyon and Spanish houses sitting on the cliffs stared back at us. The hanging houses or Casas de Coglada were not as big as I thought they’d be.  However, walking around the walled up old town was beautiful.

And of course, there was a church to visit.  We only went inside for a moment but it´s archtecture was colorful and a testament to an older times with different rules.

One interesting view we found were the hills with eyes… yes, hills with blue eyes painted on them.  It was a bit strange but worth a good photo opportunity.

Then we sat down and enjoyed sangria overlooking the mountains.  While I love Madrid it´s nice to so somewhere closer to nature with fresh air and singing birds.

We all saw a random man in a pink bunny outift smoking a cigarette and walking in shame as well as a little girl carrying around her pet goat.  It was just a regular day in Cuenca.

Street Art

And as every city, large or small, usually has, there was some street art both young and old.

If you liked this post check out some posts about other day trips from Madrid like El Escorial and more about Spain life.

 

 

 

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