Spain Destinations: Cuenca, A Remarkable City

Located at the heart of the Castilla-La Mancha region of Spain, Cuenca is a World Heritage City of cobbled streets and ancient buildings. You can simply enjoy Cuenca on a day trip from Madrid, but if you have some extra time, it is worth taking an extra day to explore the surrounding area full of unspoiled nature.

Things To Do In Cuenca

  • Visit the Hanging Houses
  • Enjoy the colorful Plaza Mayor
  • Visit The Cathedral
  • Enjoy the Best Views from San Pablo’s Bridge
  • Visit The Convent of San Pablo

The Hanging Houses

Photo: TCLM

Dating back to the 14th-century, this amazing houses appear to defy gravity, clinging to the edge of a vertical cliff. There were many built around the 18th century, but today only a few remain. They have a singular architecture with balconies that protrude from the rocky outcrop, creating that feeling of hanging in the air. At the beginning of the 20th century, the town council bought the three Hanging Houses that were still standing in order to preserve them. Of all the three that can be visited, the most famous is also the location of the Spanish Museum of Abstract Art. Entry is free!

Photo: Agefotostock
Photo: TCLM

Plaza Mayor

The historical centre of Cuenca is brought together by its main square, Plaza Mayor, with colorful houses and the Town Hall standing at the entrance. With many restaurants and cafes, the bars and terraces are always busy with people enjoying tapas and drinks.

The Cathedral

Photo: Agefotostock

The Cathedral is one of the earliest Spanish examples of Gothic architecture. It was completed in the 13th century (its facade was reconstructed in 1902). Dominating the Plaza Mayor, right in the centre of the old town is very easy to get to on foot. It is beautifully maintained with its many stain glass windows, which bring a real warmth into the cathedral. It is €8.50 for access to all the cathedral’s highlights including the tower.

San Pablo’s Bridge

The bridge crosses the river Huécar and allows you to look over its beautiful gorge. On one side, built in the rock, is the convent of San Pablo and on the other side the Hanging Houses. It’s a wonderful spot to admire both sides of the river. The current bridge was built at the beginning of the 20th century. Made of iron and wood, it maintains its style and structure which gives it the appearance of a walkway.

Convent of San Pablo

Built in 1523 by the Dominican order, it was restored as a Parador Hotel and it now hosts guests who wake up to the outstanding views of Cuenca. The hotel has preserved its historical architecture, combining the original charm, with contemporary touches. Even if you don’t stay in the hotel, it is worth visiting the building and enjoy a meal or a drink in this extraordinary setting.

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