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Cuenca, another UNESCO town, is one of my favorites in Spain

The famous hanging houses;  cliff used to be lined with hanging houses but these are the only ones left.

The famous hanging houses; cliff used to be lined with hanging houses but these are the only ones left.

Cathedral was first in Spain built in Gothic style.  Facade rebuilt in 1902 after the last one crumbled.

Cathedral was first in Spain built in Gothic style. Facade rebuilt in 1902 after the last one crumbled.

Among best day trips from Madrid along with El Escorial, Segovia and Toledo

Among best day trips from Madrid along with El Escorial, Segovia and Toledo

The Convent of St. Paul (on left) was built in the 16th century.  Now it is a luxury hotel.

The Convent of St. Paul (on left) was built in the 16th century. Now it is a luxury hotel.

Easy to tell that Cuenca is an unusual, artsy town (with only 56,000 residents)

Easy to tell that Cuenca is an unusual, artsy town (with only 56,000 residents)

Not much remains of the old Arab fortress.  Most of it was destroyed in the Spanish Civil War.

Not much remains of the old Arab fortress. Most of it was destroyed in the Spanish Civil War.

1762 Baroque Town Hall with three arches.  The center one provides the only vehicle access to the Plaza Mayor.

1762 Baroque Town Hall with three arches. The center one provides the only vehicle access to the Plaza Mayor.

Cuenca Cathedral cloisters.  Cathedral was much more interesting than I expected.

Cuenca Cathedral cloisters. Cathedral was much more interesting than I expected.

In the center is the Foundation Antonio Perez which has a huge abstract art museum.  He started the art revolution here that has revitalized the town.

In the center is the Foundation Antonio Perez which has a huge abstract art museum. He started the art revolution here that has revitalized the town.

Cuenca is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and only an hour from Madrid by train.

Cuenca is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and only an hour from Madrid by train.

Spain has lots of cool, public art.  This statue was across the street from the music conservatory.

Spain has lots of cool, public art. This statue was across the street from the music conservatory.

The original Mangana Tower was built sometime prior to 1565.  After attacks and a lightning strike it was rebuilt in 1926.

The original Mangana Tower was built sometime prior to 1565. After attacks and a lightning strike it was rebuilt in 1926.

Town reminded me of the Cinqueterre in Italy but without the coast.

Town reminded me of the Cinqueterre in Italy but without the coast.

Old Cuenca is built on a narrow ridge between two gorges making it easy to defend.

Old Cuenca is built on a narrow ridge between two gorges making it easy to defend.

The most famous civil buildings in Cuenca date from the 15th century.  They are known as the Casas Colgadas or Hanging Houses.

The most famous civil buildings in Cuenca date from the 15th century. They are known as the Casas Colgadas or Hanging Houses.

Bridge of St. Paul was built 1533 to 1589 to connect the town with the St. Paul convent. The original bridge collapsed and a new one constructed in 1902 using the original bridge supports.

Bridge of St. Paul was built 1533 to 1589 to connect the town with the St. Paul convent. The original bridge collapsed and a new one constructed in 1902 using the original bridge supports.

Plaza Mayor.  Bus from Madrid takes 2 1/2 hours but bullet train only 50 minutes.  Love the trains!

Plaza Mayor. Bus from Madrid takes 2 1/2 hours but bullet train only 50 minutes. Love the trains!

In 2010 the high speed train line opened between Madrid and Valencia.  Some of those trains stop at the station in Cuenca.

In 2010 the high speed train line opened between Madrid and Valencia. Some of those trains stop at the station in Cuenca.

The choir and main altar of the Cuenca Cathedral.  The design was influenced by the Norman court of King Alfonso VIII

The choir and main altar of the Cuenca Cathedral. The design was influenced by the Norman court of King Alfonso VIII

Cuenca cathedral among more interesting that I've visited; October weather ideal

Cuenca cathedral among more interesting that I've visited; October weather ideal

I loved the modern stained glass windows in the Cathedral. They were installed in the 1990s after a local competition.

I loved the modern stained glass windows in the Cathedral. They were installed in the 1990s after a local competition.

Gorgeous dome in one of the chapels within Cuenca Cathedral.  Most features in cathedral are more than 500 years old.

Gorgeous dome in one of the chapels within Cuenca Cathedral. Most features in cathedral are more than 500 years old.

Cuenca Cathedral was built between 1182-1270.  Had an excellent audioguide.

Cuenca Cathedral was built between 1182-1270. Had an excellent audioguide.

Impressive wooden ceiling in cathedral chapter house

Impressive wooden ceiling in cathedral chapter house

Renaissance archway carved in marble is the most impressive interior element of the cathedral

Renaissance archway carved in marble is the most impressive interior element of the cathedral

Unique meeting room in cathedral shows distinctive achievements of many artisans

Unique meeting room in cathedral shows distinctive achievements of many artisans

Spain is full of cathedrals so I applaud the locals for taking a bold step to stand-out

Spain is full of cathedrals so I applaud the locals for taking a bold step to stand-out

Excellent audioguide brought cathedral to life explaining carved cabinets, marble table and gold altar

Excellent audioguide brought cathedral to life explaining carved cabinets, marble table and gold altar

Posted by VagabondCowboy 05:57

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