Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Discover Cuenca with Incantato Tours

Castilla-La Mancha, the central region of Spain with its windmills and medieval castles, was made famous by Cervantes in Don Quixote's adventures. It is in this region that you will come across the monument-filled city of Cuenca, a picturesque town with a historical center that looks out over rocky canyon walls in the heart of the Cuenca mountains. Cuenca's old town was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list precisely for its wealth of monuments. At the heart of the old town is the cafe-lined Plaza Mayor. You can find the 18th-century Baroque tow hall at the south end. However, one of the first sights you may notice is the Torre Mangana, a ruined lookout tower at the top of the town and all that remains of an Arab fortress that once stood here. With winding, narrow streets, this Gothic and Renaissance city's main sight to see is the Cathedral, construction on which began in the 12th century. It is one of the most original works of Spanish Gothic, with Anglo-Norman influences. The cathedral's treasures, now housed in the Palacia Episcopal, include painting by El Greco. Also not to be missed are the 14th-century Hanging Houses, which jut out over a ravine and were once used as a summer residence for the royal family. They have now been converted into the Museum of Abstract Art.