Cuenca and The Casas Colgadas

When we heard about the hanging buildings in Cuenca we were intrigued to go and check out this world heritage site for ourselves.

The Casas Colgadas are a couple of precarious houses built on the side of a high ridge hanging over a deep gorge.  We were envisioning a breathtaking site.

The Casa Colgadas in Cuenca

The Casa Colgadas

When we got to Cuenca we were definitely surprised.  Not because of the breathtaking site, but because of just how unimpressive these Casas Colgadas were. (we were expecting rows of giant houses dangling precariously over a gorge)

Not really what we were expecting!

Not really what we were expecting!

What we got were 3 houses built on the side of cliff that have their balconies built over hanging over the side of the gorge. The view was beautiful, but the Casas Colgadas were not the awe inspiring site that we were expecting. (even if they were built centuries ago)

Cuenca is a beautiful town though and certainly worth a visit.

The Casas Colgadas may be what draws tourist here in the brochures, but it is the beautiful gorge and sites in the city that have made Cuenca endure as a must see destination in Spain.

Cross the bridge to the cuenca

Cross the bridge to the city!

Walking along the iron bridge; The Puente San Pablo is a bit of a thrill.  The side rails are low and the drop into the gorge is deep, but it is a perfect viewpoint of the Casas Colgadas.  And really how can you go to Cuenca without seeing its most famous site.

The Casa Colgadas are the draw to the town of Cuenca after all.

The Cathedral in the Center Square cuenca

The Cathedral in the Center Square!

After crossing the bridge we walked to the main square and the usual central figure of all towns in Spain stood proudly overhead.  Ta Catedral is another Gothic Spanish Cathedral that you will find in almost every town.  They are all equally impressive, beautiful and ancient.  This one dates back to the 16th century.

After catching lunch at the square a walk north was in order.

cuenca city view from above

The views are spectacular!

The medieval architecture is impressive.  Cuenca is built high on a hill overlooking the Rio Jucar and a gorgeous canyon valley.   Take your time to check out the views, but make sure to make your way to the northernmost point of Cuenca.

It has the best views of the city.

We stopped at a viewpoint that looked like an old fortified wall.  It is located right at History Archives.  It looks like it should be the best view of the city.  It has steps to walk up to the top and you can lookout over the streets. But…

This is not the viewpoint.

An unobstructed view of Cuenca!

You must go past this to the park across the tourist information centre.  Here you will have unobstructed views of all Cuenca and the gorge including the Casas Gondolas.  We almost didn’t walk up there because we thought that it might not be worth the effort or time.  It was.

Cuenca is an impressive city.  We kept wondering, who lives here?

Coming from Canada; The New World.  It is incomprehensible for us to live in this historical city that has survived through the ages.

The streets of Cuenca spain

The streets of Cuenca!

People actually drive through these tiny streets every day and to follow the path of historical figures.  Their apartments have been here for almost half a century.

But then after we brought up the subject we laughed.  Why wouldn’t someone live here, people have lived in Cuenca for centuries, why should it change now?

While the Casas Colgadas weren't exactly what we expected, the city of Cuenca is worth visiting. It is the classic Spanish town that all tourists search for in their travels. It is colourful and vibrant, historical and beautiful.  Go ahead and visit and see what you think of the Casas Colgadas for yourself.  We may be entirely off base. Or maybe now that you aren't expecting too much, you will be totally floored by the architecture.

For More historical cities in Spain, check out these posts

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