"Cuenca es única" Top 5 Page for this destination Cuenca by Aitana

Cuenca Travel Guide: 214 reviews and 528 photos

The strategic situation of the city, perched on the top of a hill between the gorges of two rivers that join within the urban area, blesses Cuenca with a natural beauty that has always attracted artists and poets. The man-made monuments such as the Cathedral, the Hanging Houses and the Skyscrapers on the Huécar gorge or the Saint Paul Convent increase even more this beauty.

Cuenca was declared a World Heritage site in 1996 and it applies for being the European Capital of Culture in 2016.


Hoz del Huécar (Gorge of the Huécar River)

The old city, among the gorges of the two rivers, is the most interesting part of Cuenca. From the modern city, Alfonso VIII street leads to the Plaza Mayor where the Cathedral and the Town Hall face. Going up to the castle, you will find some churches such as Saint Peter’s.

The most known pictures of Cuenca correspond to the Huécar gorge. The Hanging Houses amaze to the visitants from every point of view. Since 1966 they house the Spanish Museum of Abstract Art. Along this side of the gorge, there are some “ skyscrapers” that are also impressive though their façades are not so rich, but at night they look phantasmagoric.

Saint Paul bridge connects the old city with the former Saint Paul Convent, now a Parador Nacional. Following the Huécar river upstream, that irrigates small orchards, is a nice walk.

Hoz del Júcar (Gorge of the Júcar River)

The side of the city facing the Júcar River offers fantastic places such as San Miguel Church or Las Angustias Chapel, the most popular place of devotion. From the high part of the city, going up to the castle there are nice views of the Júcar gorge. After the remains of the medieval wall, the Camino de San Isidro drives to the Cemetery of San Isidro.

If you access the Júcar gorge from the low city, from both Colón and Virgen de la Luz streets you will arrive to San Antón bridge from which there is a splendid view of the high city with the Seminary and Mangana Tower on the top. On the other side there is the Church of Virgen de la Luz (Our Lady of Light). Following the river, you will see the joint between Júcar and its affluent Huécar. After a curve of the river, on the right there are recreational areas and afterwards the Puente de los Descalzos connects with the Bajada de las Angustias. Some 800 m beyond is la playa, an artificial beach on the river with swimming facilities and also two pools.

On the opposite side of the gorge there is a small sanctuary of San Julián el Tranquilo, a peaceful place where the second Bishop of Cuenca used to retire to pray and work. For the accesses, see my tip.


Cuenca has the privilege to be in the Serrania. As soon as you leave the city you can visit the most amazing natural places. Just to cite the closest places: going to the north, visit la Ciudad Encantada, the source of El Cuervo and Los Callejones de las Majadas. To the southeast, visit Las Torcas and the lagoons of La Cañada del Hoyo.

As the slogan says, Cuenca es única. Come and discover it!

Holy Week and Religious Music Week

The Holy Week has a special importance in Cuenca. Processions are very solemn. The penitents dress a robe and cover their head with a pointed hood. The colors depend on the brotherhood they belong to. Scenes of the Christ Passion are represented on the floats that are carried by the penitents on their shoulders along the route of the Procession.

The Religious Music Week coincides with the celebration of the Holy Week of Cuenca. It has been declared a Festivity of International Interest for Tourists. It is celebrated since 1962, from the Friday before Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday. Internationally renowned orchestras, choirs and performers participate in the concerts, offering mainly compositions of sacred music.

The rich cultural patrimony of Cuenca offers wonderful venues for the festival, such as the churches of San Miguel, La Merced, Monastery of the Immaculate Conception, the Cathedral and its chapterhouse, Casa Zavala, the former Carmelite Convent and the Auditorium, in the city of Cuenca. Also Arcas Church and Uclés Monastery are venues for concerts.


Some of the pictures in my tips are black-and-white photos, taken long time ago by my father, who became a fan of this magical city when he met my mother.

  • Intro Updated Apr 8, 2010
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Reviews (34)

Comments (7)

  • GentleSpirit's Profile Photo
    Jul 11, 2013 at 7:04 PM

    Lovely pages Carmen. I had seen photos of the Casas Colgadas but didn't know any details about them. I have to ask, how has Cuenca changed for you? Do you go back often? I really enjoyed that you included the black and white photos. Looks like a lot of wonderful history.thank you

    • Aitana's Profile Photo
      Jul 12, 2013 at 3:25 PM

      Thanks a lot for your comments, Val. Well, Cuenca has changed a lot, the new parts of the city are completely unknown for me, but the old Cuenca, the historical city around the cathedral and the castle is still the same. Since we sold the flat we had there (my grandparents' home) I have been only twice, last time in Easter 2010.

  • pfsmalo's Profile Photo
    Dec 20, 2011 at 3:25 AM

    Superb pages Carmen, I have just added Cuenca to my list for next June. Love the way you've mixed the old and new pics into your texts.

    Paul

  • hopang's Profile Photo
    Nov 29, 2010 at 12:32 PM

    Great Cuenca travel page. Cuenca seems to be a great travel destination with lots of lovely architectural buildings. Churches, cathedral and castle look interesting to explore. Thanks for your birthday wishes and visit to our Hungary page. ~ho & pang

  • nada1712's Profile Photo
    Jul 1, 2010 at 10:43 AM

    You are a gem! You really know Cuenca.l Oh how I would love to visit Cuenca with you! Its a wonderful place!

  • Redang's Profile Photo
    Apr 12, 2010 at 12:09 PM

    What a beautiful Town Hall! It's obvious that I should go back there, many places missed

  • breughel's Profile Photo
    Sep 26, 2009 at 1:29 PM

    Cuenca is indeed unique. My wife and I loved the place. It's a pity we haven't met. Would have liked to learn more from you about the history of your birth place.

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    May 6, 2009 at 1:56 PM

    Interesting tips on your birth place! I like the old photos and the historical background information. Great idea to include the sonnet by your grandfather's brother!

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“El andar tierras y comunicar con diversas gentes hace a los hombres discretos (Miguel de Cervantes)”

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