Balcones de Cuenca

There is perhaps no finer way of entering the city of Cuenca than by crossing the Saint Peter Bridge, a metallic, zip-like walkway that connects two 60 metre-high rocky precipices. From here, we gain a truly majestic view of the surrounding landscape which takes one’s breath away. On one side, we can see the ancient Convent of Saint Peter, which today is a state-owned Parador-Hotel while the church houses the Gustavo Torner cultual space, where old architecture and abstraction are fused to perfection. The Hanging Houses, one of the city’s most emblematic landmarks, contains the Cuenca Abstract Museum, - the first in the city to promote contemporary art. A fine collection which brings together some of the best modern Spanish painting, particularly from the 1950s and 60s. Stroll down any of Cuenca’s many avenues, which allow us to tour the entire city, and we get the chance to enjoy some of the many balconies which offer a different view of the city and surrounding landscape. On Julián Romero Avenue for example, we can stop off at the Florencio Cañas Balcony, which treats us to one of the most stunning views of the city. An indication of the many centuries of a city steeped in history are the remains of the ancient castle, where we find an Arab fortress and indeed, where the name Cuenca derives – the Arabs named the fortification, “Kunca” which later became Cuenca. Here, we can discover another of the city’s balconies, called the Head of Cuenca, a vantage point which gives us the chance to gain a side view of the magnificent, limestone cornices. Also perched on the Huécar ravine is the Antonio Pérez Foundation, a daring and unique offering of the huge, fascinating personal collection of artworks and objects from the troves of the local artist and editor. Steps situated in Trabuco Square lead us to another narrow passage – namely, the Júcar. The path takes us up to the Saura Foundation from where we get a superb view of what is known as the Arabian woman’s eyes – an image which was a recurring theme in many of the late artist’s work as we discover by many of the works inside the Foundation. From here, we can make our way down the steps towards the Angustias and Saint Michael beauty spots to continue enjoying the marvellous hanging houses which have made this beautiful Spanish town into a city build into the landscape.