August 2013
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Travel – Cuenca – Spain – Part 2

Cuenca is actually a city within the autonomous community of Castile–La Mancha in central Spain.

Main Sights of Cuenca

Church of Saint Michael
• The Church of Saint Michael was built during the 13th century.
• It had only one nave and an apse.
• A second nave was erected at the north side during the 15th century.
• The dome was constructed during 16th century by Esteban Jamete.
• The wooded ceiling of the 2 naves was replaced by stone-made vaults.
• This was done in the 18th century.
• Saint Michael was restored in the 20th century.
• Its management was transferred to Cuenca’s municipality from Cuenca’s Diocese.
• This was done so that this church could be used to hold classical music concerts.
• Saint Michael is home of the Religious Music Week known as Semana de Musica Religiosa in Spanish.
• It hosts together with other places within the province and the city.
• It is situated next to Plaza Mayor.
• It is situated on San Miguel Street.
• Saint Michael is reachable through a descending narrow passage.
• This passage begins at Plaza Mayor left lateral.

Church of Our Savior (Iglesia Del Salvador)
• It was constructed in neo gothic style during the 18th century.
• It has only one nave and a high tower.
• It demonstrates modest baroque façade.
• Some remarkable baroque altars are also shown indoors.
• The door that was added during 1990s is modern.
• The popular religious procession named “Las Turbas” took place on Good Friday morning.
• It starts at this location.
• This is because the image of “Jesus el Nazareno” that was held at the forefront of the procession, is kept within “El Salvador”.

Bridge of Saint Paul
• The bridge of Saint Paul (Puente de San Pablo) was built from 1533 to 1589.
• This is a construction driven by the canon Juan del Pozo.
• It was built over the river Huecar’s Gorge.
• It aimed at connecting the old town with St Paul convent.
• The original bridge collapsed.
• The current one was built in 1902.
• It is made of wood and iron.
• This is according to the style dominating at the beginning of the 20th century.
• It is up to 40 metres high.
• It is supported upon the remains of the old bridge.

• The Seminary (Seminario) is a rectangular building stretching from Plaza de la Merced to Mangana Square.
• It was established under Bishop Jose Flores Osorio ruling.
• It was constructed by Vicente Sevilla.
• It was built around 1745.
• The magnificent baroque façade at Plaza de la Merced was however set up in 1748.
• It holds a library with numerous ancient books.
• Some of them are “incunables” that is previous to 1501.
• There is also a Rococo meeting room inside and a Gothic altarpiece at the chapel.
• But visits are prohibited.
• Some books were stolen from this library in 2004.
• The robber was caught with the recovery of those books.
• Then they were auctioned.
• An average of 10–15 future priests are trained there.
• This is in accordance to Spanish Episcopal Conference link statistics.

The Old convent of Saint Paul
• During the 16th century, the convent of Saint Paul was constructed.
• This was built by the canon priest Juan Del Pozo.
• He was a monk belonging to the Dominican Order.
• This building project was given to brothers Juan and Pedro de Alviz.
• Pedro worked on the convent and the cloister and Juan on the church.
• The church was finished in the 18th century, in rococo style.
• The convent was ruled by Dominican monks.
• During the 19th century it was handed over to the Pauline Fathers.
• They were based here until 1975.
• They left since the building collapsed.
• In the 1990s the convent was restored to house the Parador Nacional de Turismo in Cuenca, a hotel.
• The cloister has an ornamental source of water, and the cafeteria is the old chapel.
• From the convent the old town can be reached easily by crossing St Paul Bridge.

Best time to visit / climate

• The climate of Cuenca would be a typical continental Mediterranean of Spain’s “Meseta”.
• Winters are relatively cold, but summers are quite hot.
• Spring and autumn seasons are short.
• You will discover pleasant temperatures during the day.
• It gets rather cold at nights.
• This is due to altitude from 956 m above sea level.
• It is about 1000 m altitude for the old town.

Location on Google Maps

View Larger Map

Or click and paste the URL below on the browser:,+spain&hl=en&ll=40.073474,-2.136669&spn=0.076319,0.110378&sll=-2.908938,-78.996676&sspn=0.199213,0.220757&gl=in&hnear=Cuenca,+Castile-La+Mancha,+Spain&t=m&z=13&iwloc=A

How to get there?

• Cuenca lies on the secondary rail route which runs from Madrid to Valencia.
• There are at least 4 trains to and fro every day.
• The journey takes about two and a half hours from Madrid.
• It takes about three and a half hours from Valencia.
• The trains have poor quality.
• It becomes better to travel on road.
• It requires 1h 30m from Madrid.
• Cuenca will have broadband trains.
• You will need 45m from Madrid.
• It’s actually a popular weekend destination.
• Hotels are sometimes less crowded through the week.
• There exists a bus station called Cuenca bus depot.
• It is located in the core of Cuenca.
• There are buses available that travel to nearby cities.
• Travel time to Madrid is around two hours.
• Expect the same travel time to Valencia.
• It costs around €12.
• Metropolis is served with the Cuenca Railroad station.
• It is a popular day or weekend trip from Madrid, that it is rather well connected.
• A brand new AVE (high-speed rail) link was established between Madrid – Atocha station and Cuenca – Fernando Zobel station.
• Travelers have frequent connections every day.
• It cuts down on the journey time as it is only 50 minutes.
• RENFE also operates a non high-speed service.
• It takes about three hours from Madrid.
• Auto Res is a bus operator.
• It links Madrid to Cuenca.
• It takes about 2 hour or 2:30 hour duration.
• The A-40 motorway connects town using the A-3 to Tarancon.
• This is about 82 kilometres (51 mi) away from Madrid.
• It totals to 166 kilometres (103 mi) to Spain’s capital.
• Cuenca is 200 kilometres (120 mi) faraway from Valencia, through the A-3 from the opposite sense.

Get Around
• It’s better to travel around in a car or go by walk.

Some Travel Books on Spain

Rick Steves’ Spain 2013 Lonely Planet Spain Spain…A Culinary Road Trip

Places to stay (hotels / restaurants along with website / contact numbers)

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Blogs/Sites about Cuenca – Spain

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Images and photos about Cuenca – Spain

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Videos of Cuenca – Spain

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