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Historic Walled Town of Cuenca
Site number:
Type of site: Cultural
Date: 12th century
Date of Inscription: 1996
Location: Europe, Spain, Province of Cuenca, Autonomous Community of Castile-La Mancha
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Description: Cuenca is a curiously well-preserved medieval fortified city that the Moors built in a defensive position at the heart of the Caliphate of Cordoba. The Castilians occupied it in the 12th century, whence it developed into a royal town and bishopric filled with significant buildings, among them Spain's earliest Gothic cathedral, and the famed casas colgadas (hanging houses), that hang from steep cliffs look out over the Huécar river. The city fully employs its advantaged location and towers above the glorious countryside. --WHMNet paraphrase from the description at WHC Site, where additional information is available.
  Cuenca is a city (2004 pop. 47,862) in the autonomous community of Castilla-La Mancha in central Spain. It is the capital of the province of Cuenca. A beautiful and ancient city, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is famous for its casas colgadas (hanging houses) on the edge of the gorge of the river Huécar. While its collection of historical buildings is not as impressive as Toledo or Salamanca, it offers a unique mixture of nature and human constructions. Its landscapes are particularly wonderful in autumn, due to the mix of green, yellow and red colours in the gorges of the two rivers. Cuenca, and the hanging houses, were featured in C. J. Sansom's 2006 novel, Winter in Madrid. Its name may derive from Latin conca meaning "river basin", referring to the gorge of the rivers Júcar and Huécar. It may also be derived from the now-ruined Arab castle, Kunka. Other alternative original names are contemplated, including "Anitorgis", "Sucro" or "Concava". The city of Cuenca is also known as the "Eagle's Nest" because of its precarious position on the edge of a gorge. The city is a popular day or weekend trip from Madrid, to which it is connected by rail (RENFE) and by highway (160 km), and is home to numerous museums, including the Museum of Spanish Abstract Art. Other attractions include Cuenca Cathedral. --Wikipedia. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.
Reference: 1. UNESCO World Heritage Center, Site Page.
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