The province of Cuenca is one of five provinces within the region of Castilla-La-Mancha, the other four being Guadalajara, Toledo, Albacete and Ciudad Real. The whole area has some of the most historic and beautiful lands within the whole of Spain. Remains of burial grounds dating from the Iron Age have been discovered as well as some major Roman settlements such as those at Saelices and Valeria.
Villages and towns of Cuenca Province
In the south of the province, a walled village built to a medieval plan and well preserved. The village has four 'must-see' churches and a castle where Don Juan Manuel wrote most of his works. The hill where the village is situated seems to have been inhabited since prehistoric times. It was conquered by the Romans, converted into a fortress by the Arabs and conquered back by Alfonso VIII. The enclosing ramparts are one of the best known and most complete defence systems existing in Spain today. The castle was built by Alfonso VIII on the site of an earlier Arab castle.
Worthy of a mention in the village is the Don Juan Manuel Square which is home to the Town Hall and St.John's Church. There are numerous other historical buildings scattered throughout the village. Spaning the river are two bridges, both of Arab construction built on older, Roman ones.
A monumental town of great interest with many, well preserved architectural gems, not least of all its castle. It was built by Juan Pacheco in 1456-1470 on the site of an earlier castle dated 1324. It was restored at one point and used as a private residence. The walled precinct whose 15th-16th century ramparts and gates connect the old town with the castle is particularly well preserved. Belmonte has more than its fair share of churches, palaces and convents. The hermitage of Nuestra Senora de Gracia, dated 17th century is certainly worthy of a visit.
The town has it's roots in the Roman, Visigothic, Arab and Christian times. The town finally passed into the hands of the Crown in 1476. Huete has conserved a large number of mansions and religious monuments. In Calle Nueva you will find the Bishop's Palace from the 18th century, in Calle de las Escuelas, the magnificent ruins of the church of Our Lady of Atienza can be seen. Other buildings include several major churches, palaces and the castle, built on a hill, overlooking the town.
A Mancha town located in the south of the province, on the Mancha plain. An elegant and noble town where evidence of Roman occupation has been discovered. The town was founded in the 12th century by the Catholic Monarchs and shows architecture, well preserved from the 16th century, such as the Town Hall in Plaza Mayor. If you walk through the streets you will see that all the churches and palaces all remain well cared for. Note the two bridges that cross the Rio Rus.