When we heard about the hanging houses in Cuenca, Spain we were intrigued to go and check out this world heritage site for ourselves. The Casas Colgadas are a set of precarious houses built on the side of a high ridge hanging over a deep gorge. The view was beautiful.
Cuenca and The Casas Colgadas
Before seeing the Casas Colgatas with our own eyes, we expected to see rows of giant houses dangling precariously over a gorge. But it turns out there are only three houses remaining in Cuenca. The famous hanging houses dangle over the side of a cliff with their balconies built to jut out even further over the gorge.
Cuenca is a beautiful Spanish town
The Casas Colgadas may be what draws tourists here in the brochures, but it is also a beautiful gorge and a very pretty town that is worth visiting in its own right. We would put Cuenca up there with the Beautiful Cities of Spain that we have been lucky enough to see. The sites in the city have made Cuenca endure as a must-see destination in Spain.
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.
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.
The medieval architecture of Cuenca 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.
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 Colgadas. We almost didn’t walk up there because we thought that it might not be worth the effort or time.
Cuenca is an impressive city
We kept wondering, who lives here? Coming from Canada, it is incomprehensible for us to live in this historical city that has survived through the ages. People actually drive through these tiny streets every day and 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 wasn’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.
For More historical cities in Spain, check out these posts