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!

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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    1. davendeb

      I hear you Alison, we keep getting a longer and longer list too! Every time we go somewhere we say that we have to come back to see more. So many amazing cities and sites and so little time.

    1. davendeb

      We haven’t been to Chile yet, but if their towns look a lot like Cuenca then I am looking forward to that as much as the mountains and scenery. It is a beautiful town, these types of places are our favorite to visit.

  2. Lily

    Dave n Deb, you need to get back to doing your thrill seeking stuff, bikes, hikes and all. Just looking at the first photo that you describe as ‘unimpressive’ .. shocked me a little, because there are many things unimpressive but that picture didnt fit the description (just my humble opinion!) Can I say you sounded a little huffy that it didnt meet your expectation! I’m glad I read further as you clearly did enjoy the gorge, cathederal etc or perhaps you were just being polite/positive without really feeling it? Guys, I’m not sure Europe is really doing it for you, which is not a criticism at all. I live in the UK but prefer to travel long haul as I favour the culture shock of more exotic locations. Still loving your updates but looking forward to the return of the ADVENTURE couple!

    1. davendeb

      Hi Lily, The Casas themselves were unimpressive to us because there were only 3 of them. We were expecting much more. But we did love the city and I am glad that you read on. Dave also has a knack for making places look incredible in his photos:) We agree with you though, we need to get back to doing some more adventures. Europe has been a nice change but it hasn’t been a thrill seeking adventure. It is amazing to see all of these incredible World Heritage Sites, but we need some activities. We were just talking about that the other day and couldn’t agree with you more!

    1. davendeb

      Yes, Cuenca is a very beautiful town and we are happy to have visited it. Thanks Andy.

    1. davendeb

      Maybe they should offer overnight accommodation on the balconies for adrenaline junkies:)

  3. davendeb

    We didn’t see any way to go into the houses. It almost looked like people still lived in them. It would be pretty cool to go in to them. I guess my description was a little harsh, but the way that the guide book described the Casas was very different from what we viewed. We expected these giant houses clinging precariously to the side of a mountain. Instead there were three medium sized homes with their balconies built over the gorge. But like I said, the city is beautiful and worth the trip.

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