It´s March, the good weather started and with that our weekend´s road trips from Madrid. Last week we went to Salamanca and now was time to go to Cuenca. I can´t believe I have been living in Madrid for the past 10 years and never occurred to me to visit Cuenca before. This World Heritage city, since 1996, is amazingly beautiful. For sure we´ll go back to Cuenca soon.
How to get there?
We drove for almost 2 hours (166 km) from Madrid to spend the afternoon in Cuenca. It was very easy to come and go in one day. We parked in “Calle Larga” for free, which is a little far from the downtown but it´s free. If you are using Google Maps or your GPS, select “calle larga, 23” as your destination.
Another choice is taking the train in “Puerta de Atocha” or “Nuevos Ministerios” station in Madrid to Cuenca, and then walk around 20-30 minutes to get to the downtown. Also, there are buses from Cuenca train station to the downtown.
Where to eat?
We booked lunch in a recommended restaurant called “Taberna de Albero”, where we ate the traditional dishes of the city:
- Ajo arriero con crema de albaricoque: A paste of cod-fish with potatoes and garlic with apricot jam aside
- Morteruelo de la casa: Pork liver (and sometimes other minor game meat and poultry such as pork loin, chicken, rabbit, etc.), spices and breadcrumbs, all crushed well in a mortar so the result is a paste
- Tosta de manzana asada, queso de cabra y confitura de arándanos: Roasted apple toast with goat cheese and blueberry jam
- Cremoso de quesos con boletus: Creamy cheese with boletus
- And “Trampantojo” for dessert, which in this case was a chocolate dessert that looked like sausages (salchichón and morcilla).
Service was beyond great and, including beers and desserts, we paid 15 euros each.
What did we visit?
After parking we went straight to the ruins of The Castle, stopping every now and then to enjoy the view and take some pics.
Then we had lunch in “Taberna Albero” and continued to visit:
- Santa María y San Julián Cathedral, a gothic church from 1257. The main facade was restored following the original style, by Vicente Lampérez in the early twentieth century
- Plaza Mayor (main square)
- Convento de las Petras, from the XVIII century
- Town Hall also from the XVIII century, its façade faces the main square in one side and a smaller square on the other side
- The Museo de Arte Abstracto Español (Museum of Spanish Abstract Art), established in 1966, sadly it closes on Sundays afternoon, but it´s my main reason to go back to Cuenca, I heard is amazing
- Casas Colgadas (Hanging Houses), their origin remains uncertain, though there is proof of their existence in the 15th century. Throughout their history they have been refurbished several times. The most recent took place during the 1920s. They have been used as individual homes, council houses, and currently the host to a restaurant, and the Spanish Abstract Art Museum
- The bridge of Saint Paul, built from 1533 to 1589, a construction driven by the canon Juan del Pozo, over the gorge of the River Huecar, aiming at connecting the old town with St Paul convent. The original bridge collapsed, and the current one was built in 1902, made of wood and iron according to the style dominating at the beginning of the 20th century. It is up to 40 metres high and supported by the remains of the old bridge (read more here)
- Old Convent of Saint Paul, currently a hotel
We ended up our day trip walking around the colorful streets of Cuenca while eating an ice-cream with our friends. At 20:00 we were back in our house in Madrid.
Don´t wait 10 years to go to Cuenca.