Cuenca is a city in the autonomous community of Castilla-La Mancha in central Spain. It is the capital of the province of Cuenca and is also amongst the biggest provinces in Spain being almost the size of a small country. The area was uninhabited during the Roman occupation of Spain, the city having been founded by the Moors in the 6th century.
The city’s main square, the Plaza Mayor, is surrounded by many od Cuenca’s finest buildings. Here can be found the Cathedral of Nuestra Señora de Gracia (Our Lady of Grace), a predominantly Gothic structure built during the 12th to 13th centuries. Because the cathedral took such a long time to construct it displays examples of several distinctive architectural styles.
Cuenca has many festivals taking place throughout the year, probably the most important of which is the Religious Music Week, a Festival of International Tourist Interest, which takes place at Easter. The festival was inaugurated in 1962 and brings internationally renowned orchestras, choirs and performers to play sacred music. The venues are spread over the main religious buildings of Cuenca such as the Cuenca Auditorium, the church of San Miguel and a museum dedicated to the abstract art of Spain.
The Museum of Spanish Abstract Art is housed in an unusual building which is an example of the Hanging Houses of Cuenca. These houses were built over a rock above the Huecar River Gorge in the 15th century, and hang precariously over the cliff edge. Las Casas Colgadas, as they are known, are the only remaining examples of this type of building which used to be quite common.
For children a visit to the Ciudad Encantada, Enchanted City, will be a lot of fun. The area is a geological site near to the city where the rocks have been shaped into distinctive shapes by erosion. Most of the rock formations resemble animals and other natural features. For example there is the seta (mushroom), puente (bridge), hipopótamos (hippopotami), la foca (the seal), la tortuga (the turtle) and los osos (the bears).