The province of Cuenca has always been characterized by beautiful towns and its well-known nature and architectural wealth. further, treasures singularities such as the Hanging Houses or Villanueva de la Jara submerged in the Middle Ages. Then, we review the most interesting visits of the province of Cuenca, both towns and buildings or museums, among other highlights.
Hanging Houses / Cuenca
Definitely, One of the essential visits on your way through the province of Cuenca is the visit to the Hanging houses in the city of Cuenca. This singularity, also called Casas del Rey, is a group of civil buildings that is named for having a part of them with large balconies protruding from the high cornice of the Huécar river. further, you can take advantage of the visit to this city to contemplate the Cuenca Main Square one to Cathedral.
Belmonte, a trip to the 15th century
It is one of the most visited towns in Castilla-La Mancha. It's not just about visiting your castle, but to travel back in time to the Middle Ages, both for its streets and for its architectural buildings. It still has the strength of that time and maintains a Old town declared a Site of Cultural Interest, Belmonte is a true medieval village paradise that houses sites of great interest such as a collegiate church, a palace and two squares.
Villanueva de la Jara
Continuing with the towns to visit in the province of Cuenca we find Villanueva de la Jara, one of the towns most valued by the Castilian-La Mancha. This locality, located in the Manchuela region, has a wide and spectacular heritage, fruit of its development in the Middle Ages. A very interesting heritage that you should visit with all the tranquility of the world.
You can visit the Basilica of the Assumption, declared a Historic-Artistic Monument. Another religious monument of great importance is the Convent of the Carmelites, sixteenth century. But, also, you can also walk through its Main Square and enjoy buildings like your Renaissance Town Hall one to Villa Enriqueta, a 19th century palace-house.
Serranía de Cuenca Natural Park
This natural park of the Serranía de Cuenca is located in the northeast of the province of Cuenca and occupies an area of more than 70 thousand hectares, including up to 10 municipalities. The best known enclave of the Serranía de Cuenca is the Enchanted city declared Natural Site of National Interest in 1929. The Enchanted City is a Spanish natural setting of calcareous or limestone rock formations formed over thousands of years. It is located near Valdecabras, in the municipality of Cuenca, in a wide area of pine forests in the southern part of the Cuenca mountain range and at an altitude of 1500 meters.
It treasures an impressive limestone landscape, only one in the world, sculpted by the erosive action of water and wind. Popular imagery has also wanted to make its mark by baptizing the fantastic shapes of the rocks with names evocative of their appearance.: the dog, the Whale or the Bridge.
Near the Enchanted city we found a similar formation, the Alleys of Las Majadas, where the erosive action of water, ice and wind have also left their mark on the rocks, giving rise to a kind of stone alleys with unique shapes. It also stands out in this natural park Natural Monument of the Birth of the Cuervo River.
Castle of Uclés
This castle is located between a square kilometer surrounded by walls and towers. So impregnable that it was never conquered and was converted into a monastery in the 16th and 17th centuries., and called, for its great beauty, El Escorial de la Mancha. From the primitive castle we can see the Palomar Tower, that of the Póntido and the Albarrana, the only ones that are preserved. The Albarrana tower is actually the New Castle built in the s. XV. further, the christian albacara is exceptional: a gap in the shape of saw teeth, meeting point of the knights. In the S. XII would definitively happen to be part of Castile, and mother house of the Order of Santiago.
So things, the province of Cuenca treasures numerous arguments to visit it throughout its territory both for its beautiful towns and for its architectural wealth. further, has spectacular restaurants such as Scorching restaurant Finca Embid, next to a campsite with the same name, located in the middle of the Cuenca nature. This restaurant offers grilled meat from its own aging, both yearling veal and Iberian field bait pig to make a stop along the way and thus enjoy a getaway to this wonder of the province such as Cuenca.
Cuenca Cathedral is one of the most particular buildings of the Spanish Middle Ages and much has been written about it to explain its presence in these lands Castilla y La Mancha. Cuenca was conquered by Alfonso VIII of Castile in the year 1177. Then, the Mosque was Christianized as usual until the works of an ex-novo temple of Christian typology could be undertaken. It is studied that this must have happened between ten or twenty years later. In 1208 The High Altar had been consecrated so the head must have been completely built by that date.
The fact is that it is a building that, except for peculiarities and simplifications, can be included in the category of First French Gothic, that is to say, belonging to that current of the twelfth century prior to classical Gothic and which has its best exponents in French cathedrals such as Laon, Soissons and Paris. At the time of starting to build the cathedral, the prevailing style in the Christian kingdoms was still Romanesque, So it should not surprise us that it was the foreigners of the court of King Alfonso VIII who introduced the Gothic airs in our cathedral, since this was the new order prevailing in Europe beyond the Pyrenees.
The Cathedral was consecrated by Saint Julian, second bishop of Cuenca, in the year 1196 when it was still in its infancy. The Cathedral was started by Gallic stonemasons between the years 1182 Y 1189 (siglo XII) continuing the works throughout the 13th century. The Cathedral was certainly built on the old Arab mosque of the city.
It is considered as the first Gothic cathedral made in Castilla, being definitively consecrated under the invocation of Santa María in the year 1208 by Bishop Rodrigo Ximénez de Rada. However, the construction of the cathedral begins in late Romanic, so it is natural that we find Romanesque cathedral resistance against the Gothic news of the moment. The initial plan of the cathedral consisted of three ships; at the height of the cruise it was transformed into five ships and five apses still forming, following the traces of the ruling Romanesque.
In the fifteenth century the five apses were replaced by a double girola to take advantage of the development of the five ships available to the cathedral. Its new plant would be formed by a Latin cross, three ships, double ambulatory and a deep chancel. The cruise is covered by a large central dome influence anglonormanda.
The chapels of the aisles were built mostly in the XVI century in Gothic style. Its exterior was renovated almost entirely in the sixteenth century and in the seventeenth century was built the chapel of the Tabernacle. During the eighteenth century it was reformed both the façade and towers, giving the building a Baroque appearance. This reform affected the main facade was built by King Ferdinand III and had two twin Gothic towers. The towers of the facade along with two other towers cathedral had disappeared during a fire, what gave rise to new reform, who it was born in the year 1720 by Juan Perez and newly reconstructed in 1723 under the direction of Luis Arteaga.
In the twentieth century as a result of damage to the facade, a sinking tower bells in 1902 by lightning strikes, He proceeded to its reconstruction in the year 1910, what is your current appearance, Neo-Gothic style facade work of Vicente Lampérez. Its current appearance confirms that it was left unfinished. In the highest part we find an image of San Julián that curiously is the only image that exists on the entire facade.
With the history of the Cathedral, next to her, there is a restaurant specialized in grilled meats and top quality dishes such as Scorching restaurant The Secret of La Catedral that has a privileged location with a terrace overlooking the Cathedral of Cuenca.
The city of Cuenca has always been known for its hanging houses, its wealth of historical buildings and its good gastronomy. The typical dishes of Cuenca cuisine are many, but there are some that you should try if you are from Cuenca or are coming to visit it for the first time. It should be noted that Cuenca's stoves have always been based on old recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation, preserving the aromas and flavors of yesteryear.. Then, We mention the most outstanding dishes that you cannot miss when visiting Cuenca.
Undoubtedly one of the best known and valued in Cuenca with a lot of tradition. It is a pasta made mainly with pork liver, spices and breadcrumbs, to which other meat ingredients are usually added, I eat chicken, rabbit or pork loin, as well as poultry or any meat derived from small game.
It is based on the intestines of suckling lamb, what, after being marinated, they are wound on a vine to, next, be fried in olive oil, although they can also be roasted in the oven or grilled.
Crumbs with egg
Egg crumbs are a very popular and appreciated dish in Cuenca gastronomy., whose basic ingredients are dry bread, eggs, garlic, olive oil, salt and water.
Ajoarriero is a pasta or pate made with cod, potatoes, it, breadcrumbs and oil. You can add, optionally, boiled egg and parsley for garnish. It is a typical dish from cold regions, as can be seen in its ingredients, nothing complicated to acquire in these areas. It is common to taste it in winter, but it can be eaten with pleasure at any time of the year, especially as an aperitif or first course.
All food in Cuenca must end with this liquor of Muslim origin that was originally only consumed at Easter but is now found throughout the year. Based on coffee cream, cognac and anise. They claim that it has digestive virtues, That is why it is the best option to end a true lunch or dinner representative of the gastronomy of Cuenca..
Definitely, Eating in Cuenca and its surroundings is a sensational and unique experience. Unbeatable option to taste the best gastronomy of Cuenca is to visit the Scorching restaurant The Secret of the Cathedral, both for its quality of service and for its perfect location in front of the beautiful Cathedral of Cuenca.
Routes to visit some of the most beautiful towns in the province of Cuenca
Castilla-La Mancha has always been the land of a rich historical heritage, artistic and cultural for its variety of historical monuments and its many treasures in its valleys and in its legacy with history. Cuenca brings together notable charming towns in which we will take a good tour of the most prominent municipalities through their valleys, windmills and castles.
In addition to Cuenca and its famous hanging houses, the province offers a wide range of postcards and towns where the history-tradition binomial merge to create a combination of unique images and sensations that will put a turning point in the visit to this beautiful province.
Alarcón, a medieval village
Undoubtedly one of the great tourist attractions when visiting Cuenca for its beauty in the natural environment and its high-quality monumental complex. With a location in the south of the province of Cuenca, belongs to the region of La Manchuela. This municipality surrounded by the Júcar is one of the ideal destinations to take a bath in its natural pools. At the top of the municipality is the castle, A 16th-century construction with a walled enclosure that has been preserved in perfect condition over the centuries. At present it has become a National Parador.
San Clemente, a look at the Renaissance
This town contains several buildings of a Renaissance character, difficult to find in other places in the region.. This fact is that San Clemente has become a tourist attraction for its Renaissance-style buildings in the historic center of San Clemente, to the point of having been declared a Historic-Artistic Site. The greatest architectural treasure of the town is the City Hall building, magnificent display of the Renaissance style.
Raven Speck, the Manchego treasure
This town can boast of hoarding up to 7 windmills, unique reason to visit it and contemplate the most beautiful La Mancha landscapes in the community. The privileged visits to the highest part of the municipality are called the "Balcón de la Mancha. It is almost 110 kilometers from the capital, south of the province.
Priego treasures numerous architectural styles in his locality and presents an enviable architectural wealth. Highlights Palace of the Counts of Renaissance style, the Torreón de Despeñaperros and the Gothic church of San Nicolás de Bari, in addition to some more macabre like the House of the Inquisition.
Good day, the route of the faces
There are many reasons to visit Buendía from its Plaza Mayor, its car museum or take a dip in its swamp. But if there is something that has made it famous in recent years, it is because of its curious route of faces carved in the stones., that run near the Buendía reservoir.
With visits to the different charming towns of Cuenca, It is interesting to stop along the way to regain strength and eat or have tapas in the Scorching restaurant Finca Embid, an ideal place also to rest since this grill specializing in grilled meat is located inside Camping Caravaning Cuenca, but with access fully independent.
With the arrival of summer it is common to cool off with a good swim on the beach or in the pool. But nevertheless, Non-coastal provinces such as Cuenca have other means to cool off either in natural pools, rivers or ponds. In fact, In the province of Cuenca there are numerous natural pools of great beauty where you can cool off and also enjoy a great day with family or friends to eat or have a snack.
The common denominator of these natural pools and rivers in the province of Cuenca are their great natural wealth and crystal clear waters.. They are places where you can bathe in a relaxed way and that do not have the handicap of the waves and also treasure a cool water temperature. Then, we highlight the natural pools, Cuenca's most outstanding rivers and reservoirs.
The Chorreras of the Cabriel river, that of Enguídanos
Less than 100 less than 100 kilometers from Cuenca is the town of Enguídanos. This town is fortunate to have the Chorreras of the Cabriel or Enguídanos river, a spectacular succession of sickles, pools, waterfalls, rapids and calm waters ideal for swimming.
It has an enabled parking, Although you will have to get up early to park as it is very popular in the summer time. The hiking route to the main natural pools of Cabriel is also interesting..
This river that runs through the municipality of Santa María del Val is characterized by its abundant vegetation. This river is born and dies in the same province of Cuenca and treasures a great vegetation along its 45 km of journey, giving us beauty and perfect areas to cool off in summer.
Although the most visited area is the source of the Cuervo River and its beautiful waterfalls, there are other remarkable areas with elements of great relevance and beauty, like the Raven's Corner.
Pozas de Palomera
The pools of Palomera are formed by the Huécar River and serve as a place of refreshment and enjoyment for the people of Palomera, solo 3 km from town. A true paradise of incredibly crystal clear waters, up to which it is not only advisable to come during the summer to enjoy a pleasant bath, but also in spring, since this is when the river carries more water.
Beach ”of Cañamares
Cañamares is a Cuenca town of great beauty, which is located in the natural limit between the Alcarria and the Sierra de Cuenca. This is where the Cañamares beach is located, in a town that can boast of having truly incredible landscapes and a tranquility that invites the traveler to rest.
One of the most famous charms is the Escabas river that runs through it completely and is framed by the Fuertescusa and Priego gorges.. The liquid element has created a pool of water at the height of Cañamares creating a fabulous indoor beach suitable for the whole family
In the middle of the Serranía Alta de Cuenca, we find the El Tobar lagoon, an immense space in which to enjoy with the five senses of nature in all its expression. Water, flora and fauna go hand in hand in a landscape that could well inspire the content of a painting or the image of a photograph to remember. A bathing area located in the Sierra de Cuenca, in which peace and quiet are the great hosts.
El Chantre Recreational Area
The El Chantre Recreational Area is a bathing area that is also very frequented by the inhabitants of the provincial capital, the city of Cuenca, which is not surprising if we take into account the beauty of the place. It is a stretch of the Júcar river in which we find various ideal spots for swimming, and that is located in a wide esplanade, converted into a recreational area. further, The pool stairs area has been equipped to facilitate bathing.
The Buendía reservoir
It is located between the provinces of Cuenca and Guadalajara. Also known as "Mares de Castilla", It is one of the most beautiful areas of Cuenca to enjoy a bath this summer. In addition to bathing in its calm and clean waters, you can enjoy water activities and even fish due to its abundant amount of fish. Its surroundings invite us to take pleasant walks and enjoy the Buendía reservoir from many interesting points, as the well-known Route of the Faces.
Cortados de Villalba
They are known as Cortados de Villalba, located in front of another well-known place, the Devil's Window, a natural viewpoint from which you can enjoy magnificent views of the region. It is a canyon through which the crystalline waters of the Júcar River run between high rocky and vertical walls, forming rapids and jumps and creating a wonderful and bucolic scene.
Among all these natural pools and refreshing rivers we find a magnificent restaurant where to eat, Abrasador Finca Embid Restaurant, specialist in grilled meat and local cuisine. further, This restaurant is located inside a campsite where you can stay to make routes in the natural pools and visit them all for several days.
It's about The Secret of the Cathedral, in Cuenca, a restaurant with a long history in the city, run by Sisters Azucena and Luisa López, who has recently joined the Scorching brand. In this way, incorporates to its gastronomic offer the grilled meat of yearling veal and own-aged Iberian pig, offering avant-garde cuisine and grill from Monday to Sunday.
The Secret of the Cathedral, located next to the Cathedral of Cuenca, It is owned by the López sisters and they have returned to update themselves and surprise with this new proposal, opening new gastronomic experiences in the cultural heart of the city. Julio Ramirez, founding partner of Scorching, explained during the inauguration ceremony of this new Scorching partner in the city, what this union means: "It is a restaurant specializing in grilled meats, to which we have combined their typical local dishes with recipes of grilled meats from their own aging ".
Meanwhile, the López sisters also explained to those attending the inauguration what it means to them: "We finally have the new menu, without forgetting the group's digital platform, so important in this time of Covid-19, a renewed space, Y, especially, eager to continue working and giving the best possible service to enjoy the new dishes, in an unbeatable environment ", Almudena and Luisa López added, partners and owners of the establishment.
This business update means healthy and quality recipes for the people of Cuenca, from the hand of chef Luisa López, member of the European Association of Chefs, Eurotoques and chef of this restaurant.
Like any restaurant that wants to associate with the Scorching brand, for a little over six months they were meat customers, to go on to learn recipes and dishes from the menu, as well as the know-how in Scorching embers. Once the two parties meet, decide to move forward and partner, just as it happened with The Secret of the Cathedral.
Prior to the inauguration, both Carlos Torres (brand consultant chef), as Julio Ramírez (founding partner of Scorching), They were offering kitchen advice, room and management.
During the inauguration, Carlos Torres, chef advisor to our group, He explained and made the most innovative recipes and dishes on the Scorching menu so that attendees could learn about the new gastronomic offer that Restaurane Scorching El Secreto de la Catedral will offer.
With this restaurant in town, there are already two restaurants in Cuenca and 13 in Castilla-La Mancha. With this new addition of El Secreto de la Catedral to the Scorching chain, it represents the 39 restaurant in Spain, being a benchmark in grilled meat, both yearling veal and Iberian pork with exhaustive control of the entire process.
If you want to know more about this Scorching restaurant in Cuenca, click more information…