Prepared to be European Capital of Culture, Cuenca is a precious city, combining nature and history.
Dramatic canyons with medieval houses, everyting very well preserved and protected it is a very interesting and easy visit.
A brief stop in the way from Cuenca to the beach and... it was all. I enjoyed it, but I keep thinking that Albacete is not a must see or go.
This house belonged to D. Diego de Miranda, and it was described by Cervantes in Chapter XVIII of the second part of Don Quixote. It was home of the Society of Jesus. Over the door, you can see the cross. Now, it’s a private house.
If you are interesyed in the chapter, check the link.
The Plaza Mayor is of neoclassical style of the early 17th century. To the north, the church of San Andrés (4th pic), to the west, the City Hall (3rd pic), and to the south, large balustrades (main pic). The monument dedicated to Santo Tomás de Villanueva, the Saint Ptron of the town, is just before the church (fifth pic).
Toledo (pop. 80.000) is the capital of Castile-La Mancha and one of Spain's most monumental cities. It is in fact listed by UNESCO as a world cultural heritage.
Its new role as administrative capital of the region and its proximity to Madrid have fuelled a considerable growth in a city that otherwise had been practically slumbering for several centuries. However, the city once played an outstanding role in the history of Spain until it finally declined because of the supremacy of nearby Madrid. This significant historical role has left behind an impressive list of churches, convents, palaces and historic buildings.
Yet, the agglomeration of old buildings on the winding alleys and the picturesque location of the city, on a hill almost completely embraced by a bend of the river Tagus, are what make the city so attractive for the tourists.
Most tourists visit Toledo as a day trip from Madrid, but it would be wise to stay at least one night. That will avoid every kind of hassle and is the best way to fully enjoy the city's atmosphere at one's own pace; especially after dusk, when all the day trippers are gone and the fake armour stores are closed.
This is a lovely XVI century house of two floors plus a nice patio in the quiet village of El Toboso, La Mancha, where lived Ana Martinez Zarco (whom Cervantes pretended, without success, and projected his love immortalizing her in his “obra maestra” Don Quixote, as Dulcinea, or Sweet Ana).
The entrance fee is cheap. They will confiscate your photo apparatus, since pictures and video are strictly prohibited.
On the ground floor there is the patio and instruments to produce olive oil and wine, and the kitchen with old utensils. On the first floor you can see Dulcinea room, bed and furniture of her time, plus her room to sew and receive guests.
Do not miss the shop in front, called La Aldaba, where you can buy lovely and original objects and books related with Don Quixote (I have at home several items bought in that shop).
Just a few kilometres far, in Mota del Cuervo, you can also visit the windmills since the times of Miguel de Cervantes, which Don Quixote took for giants.
Ciudad Real (pop. 65.000) is a relatively old city, but with few remains from the past. It is the capital of the second largest province in Spain, with the plains of La Mancha to the East, the Sierra Morena range to the South and the Toledo range to the North.
Although this place is not high in the list of any tourist, the vast plains that surround it are wealthy with interesting historical and natural places, like the town of Almagro and the National Parks of Cabañeros and the agonising Tablas de Daimiel.
This picture depicts the Toledo gate, a rest of the former city wall whose Arab origins can clearly be seen.
Almargo is a little town very close to Cuidad Real in the south of Castilla-La Mancha.
It is most famous for it's shakespearian age theatre and the unique green windowed Plaza Mayor which was influenced by northern European design.
Other than these two things there is not much to see here. There is a museum attatched to the theatre as well but don't expect to see an real antiques.
All in all Alamargo makes a good place to stop overnight while travelling through Castlla-La Mancha but don't go out of your way to see it.
Mudejar is a type of Architecture you can find all over the area (some of the best examples can be found in Teruel, Aragon).
unfortunately the street below is filled with shops trying to make tourist part with their money.
Everywhere you go in Toledo you will see shops filled with Knight's armour, swords and shields. You will find many knights keeping guard outside of houses an shops too. You may also be suprised about how many swords for sale you will see in racks on the street. Luckily Spain is not country of lager louts or there might be trouble.
Parts of this fortress dates back to 835 when Aba-al-Rahman ruled. Though Alfonso Vi then rebuilt it when the city was re conquered by the Christians. Some say that the fist governor was actually El Cid.
Carlos V made it into a palace then in 1810 Napoleon bombed it as his troops left the city. It was also played an important in the Spanish civil war (1936) where, unfortunately, it sustained more damage.
It has now been restored again and also houses a museum.
This synagogue is also known as the Transito too after it was taken over by the catholics who named it after the Transit of the Virgin.
There are inscriptions inside which reveal that the building dates back to 5,117 in the Jewish calender or 1357 AD in the Christian one.
On Satuday afternoons and Sunday mornings and some national holidays entry is free. At other times it is only 2.40€
You can also see many relics, books, coins and other artifacts left over from the jews before they were expelled as well as admiring the building itself.
The drive into Castilla-La Mancha from Aragon is breath taking. From the rocks to the mountains and valleys! I read in a guide book that Castilla- La Mancha was strark and harsh. Well I certainly don't agree. The province of Cuenca has so much nature to offer it doesn't know what to do with it all!
We didn't have time to stop and take photos while we were on the road so I decided to try and take them through the windows of the moving car. If you look at the photo you'll see that the trees can help you find your way around Castilla-La Mancha!
The enchanted city is a fantastic place where you can let your imagination run wild. It is a city of limestone rock formations that look like animals or other things after years of erosion. Some of the things are a little hard to see, but it's good fun trying!
It costs 3 euros to enter. It seems a little strange paying to see nature, but I suppose it's to maintain the paths and stop graffiti artists using the rocks as canvas!
The cathedral sits in the main square (Plaza Mayor) and I thought it was pretty enough although my guide book seemed to be a little critical! We decided not to go in anyway because we only had a little time before sunset and we wanted to go and see Cuidad Encantada.
It was built on the sight of a mosque (suprise, suprise). Some parts date back to the 13 the century while others are later, maybe the 15th century.
We did not stay, but later found out that the government run paradors have many deals and usually...more
The Parador is excellent. It is an old Convent, so the building itself is everything you would dream...more
Pedro Oviedo 8 Cuidad Real, Almagro, Ciudad Real,
Good for: Business