August 2013
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Travel – Cuenca – Spain – Part 3

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

Main Sights of Cuenca

Bishop’s Palace
The bishop’s palace features:
– Three of the company’s museums
– Diocese’s Museum, which has a remarkable number of religious art.
• It is easily accessed from the Cathedral.
• The rooms that spot the collection were remodeled by architect Fernando Barja Noguerol, and Gustavo Torner.
• They selected the art pieces from a listing produced by some priests from the Diocese in 1977.
• A number of the diocese’s artistic patrimony was lost through:
– The Peninsular War
– The confiscation of ecclesiastical property by Juan Álvarez Mendizábal
– The Spanish Civil War
• Masterpieces stored are:
– Byzantine Diptych
– Paintings by El Greco
– Handcrafted carpets from Cuenca’s school
• Byzantine Diptych is book-like silver work.
• Its origin is dated around 1370.
• It contains saints’ relics.

The Castle
• El Castillo is the term for the remains of the ancient Arab fortress.
• It represents the older structures of Cuenca.
• Among the fragment of the walls that are left are:
– A tower
– Two stone blocks
– The arch that enables to enter and leave the existing town in the Barrio del Castillo
• The arch also known in Spanish as arco de Bezudo is known after Gutierre Rodriguez Bezudo, from Segovia.
• He fought the Arabs with King Alfonso VIII to get rid of Cuenca.
• The castle was home on the Holy Inquisition after 1583.
• It was finally destroyed in the 1800s by French soldiers during the Spanish War of Independence.
• Nearby points are classified as the small chapel and cemetery of San Isidro.

Mangana Tower
• Origins on the Mangana Tower remain unclear.
• In 1565, it turned out to be painted by Antoon van den Wijngaerde.
• It indicates that at that time Mangana was built up.
• After the attacks by French soldiers over the Spanish War of Independence war from the outset of 19th century, it was being hit by a thunderbolt within the 1700s.
• With this, it became badly destroyed.
• Mangana Tower was rebuilt by Fernando Alcantara in Neomudejar style.
• It was constructed in 1926.
• It was inspired by Arab decorative motifs.
• Finally Victor Caballero gave Mangana its current try looking in a fortress-like style in 1968.
• It has a clock among its walls.
• There is a recording of bell chimes that can be heard in the old town at peak times.
• It is heard quarterly associated with an hour.
• Different views can be seen from near viewpoints.
• Views above the river Jucar’s gorge as well as the modern neighborhoods are visible.
• Mangana can be accessed by walking from Plaza Mayor.

Town Hall
• Town Hall is actually a building in baroque style that is piled up through the ruling period of King Charles III and supported over three roman arches.
• It was finished in 1762.
• It can be read on the facade.
• The central arch could be the one giving access to vehicles to Plaza Mayor.

Hanging Houses
• These houses are built spanning a rock above the Huecar River gorge.
• It was built within the 15th century.
• Las Casas Colgadas are the only remaining samples of such a building.
• These hanging houses were common in this city years ago.
• Hanging Houses are the most famous civil buildings in Cuenca.
• They housed restaurants as well as the Museum of Abstract Arts.
• They were also used in the background setting of countless photos that were made from the bridge of San Pablo.

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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