Leaving Cuenca through the N-420 road, we find the
first castle, in the village of Castle of Garcimuñoz, where
the medieval structure and the ascentral house with Ranaissance
grilles and coats of arms, need to be highlighted. The castled
was built above the Arab fortress and rebuilt by the Marquess
of Villena in the 15th century. We must point out the superb access
door in front of the place were poet Jorge Manrique was wounded
in one of the nobel fights in the 15th century.
In El Cañavate, a Roman village, we find the remains of an old fortress datingfrom the 14th century, next to the chapel of the Virgin of Trascastillo, a 16th century Renaissance chapel.
Alarcón, the old capital town of the marquessate of Villena, which is presently considered as historical artistic conglomerate, has one of the most beautiful castles in the province, which has now become a national Parador de Turismo. Alarcón was under Arab rule from the 8th to the 10th century. The fortress belonged to the Santiago Order of Knighthood. Ihe castle started to be built in the 12th century and has Roman and Visigothic features, and other
elements from the 14th and 15th centuries.
This historie art monument nowadays houses the project of the mural paintings in the old Church of Saint John The Baptist, sponsored by the UNESCO since I997.
However the most spectacular building in the arta is the Alarcón Castle, which,from the watchtowet; dominates the whole village of Alarcón.
The Castle is the gafe to the village, through one of its ares. It is located on the top of a hill, surrounded by the Júcar River; which course flows many metres lower as a consequence of the enormous canyon that originated over thousands of years.
In Villanueva de la Jara or San Clemente,
you can find plenty of Castilian Renaissance buildings.
On the southwest comer of Cuenca, in the very heart of La Mancha,you will find Mota del Cuervo. From here,you can make out Don Quijote de la Mancha, crowned with windmills, and arrive to the noble villa of Belmonte, one of the greatest urban developments in the province, with an important castle, which is fully preserved and stands proudly, reviving the Renaissance spirit. Belmonte, home town of Fray Luis de Leon, has one of the best preserved walls in the province of Cuenca. The walled grounds, along with the wall itself and the tales, link the village to the castle, which was built at the request of Juan Pacheco Esq. The Castle, halfway between a luxurious palace and a hard fortress, shows polychrome coffirings with flower and geometric motifs. The lords bedroom is an example of the luxury and beauty of the castle, as it has a revolving dome decorated with coloured crystals and ringing silver bells. On top of its great beauty, the castle also was a secure fort, prepared to support long and heavy sieges.