Spain/Castilla La Mancha: Cuenca

The historic walled town of Cuenca is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its seemingly fairy tale location and appearance. The whole town is perched on a limestone spur rising high above the surrounding countryside. It was founded by Moors and then built over higher and higher by the Spanish over the centuries – everything here is vertical! Every street is steep and leads up along cobblestones and narrow passageways. A good panorama is from the Bridge of Saint Paul connecting two sides of a deep gorge. Here you can see the Casas Colgadas – houses with balconies hanging over the abyss – Cuenca used to have many of them in the medieval times. The Cuenca Cathedral is spectacular (next post), and there are several other old churches. As you climb up higher in town, you get to the top plaza with the Mangana Tower dating back to 15th century or even earlier with panoramic views in all directions. It’s like a workout session to just explore the town!