Cuenca is the capital of the province Cuenca. It is located in the autonomous community of Castilla-La Mancha in Central Spain. The city of Cuenca comprises just about a quarter of the population of the province at approximately 53,000 in 2007. It was believed that its name may have been derived from the Latin word conca;which mean “river basin”, citing the gorge of the rivers Júcar and Huécar. Others attribute it to the now-ruined Arab-castle Kunka.
Cuenca is a very well conserved, fortified, gothic city. It was built by the Moors as a defense and was overpowered in the 12th century by the Castilians. It became a royal city and diocese rich with key structures and buildings.
Best places to go in the city of Cuenca:
Coming from Madrid, Cuenca is easily reached by Renfe Operadora (RENFE) or if you want more time to savor the views it is a 160km.-travel by highway. Below are outstanding and highly recommended sites to visit in the city of Cuenca:
The City of Cuenca is famous for its hanging houses. In 1996, the historic walled town of Cuenca was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. During autumn, this scenery offers a magnificent view because of the mixed colors of green, red, and yellow of the 2 rivers.
Museum of Spanish Abstract Art
Located at the heart of Casas Colgadas, Cuenca’s Museum of Spanish Abstract Art hosts more than 700 works of Spain’s famous artists. It is the third largest collection of contemporary Spanish art in the country next to Museo de Arte Contemporáneo and Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia. Rueda, Tapiés, Torner, Suara, Chilleda, Millares, and Cuixant are just few of the major contributors of Museum of Spanish Abstract Art.
Officially identified as the Basilica de Nuestra Señora de Gracia (Basilica of Our Lady Grace), the Cuenca Cathedral is the only Gothic Anglo-Norman structure of its kind in Spain. The cathedral is remarkable for its 7-sided polygonal apse (semicircular recess enclosed with a hemispherical vault) and a Latin cross design (the arm of the cross that is from the main entrance to the altar is longer than the other arms). The façade was reconstructed in the 19th century by Vicente Lampérez. By the way, taking pictures inside the cathedral is prohibited.
Delicacies, Restaurants & Cafes
Never miss a trip to Cuenca without trying one of their mouth-watering dishes. Lambs, river crabs, and rabbit delicacies are something you should try. Casa Mario, Meson Casas Colgadas, Rincon de Paco, La Mancha, and Figon de Pedro all offer fine menus and dining experience that will make your trip unforgettable.
For art aficionados, some museums that are also worth visiting include: The Castilla-La Mancha Science Museum, The Antonio Perez Foundation, The Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art, and The Museum of Cuenca. Each has its own finest art collections to boast.