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Max Abroad : The Best of Spain

Quite simply writing about the best things Spain has to offer and anything that might crop up along the way. Spain is a lot more than just sun, sand and sea...

Defying the laws of Gravity
06 March 2014 @ 12:09


The Enchanted City (La Ciudad Encantada) is another one of these beautiful places to visit in Spain.The "Serrania de Cuenca" is the destination this time, along with the birth of the "Rio Cuervo", the most visited place in the province of Cuenca.

It is situated in a limestone canyon that is almost 1,500 metres above sea level and is characterised by its curious rocky formations, sculpted over the millenniums by ice, wind and water. All this has modelled stone figures that look like humans, objects and animals and immediately spark the visitors' imagination. Within the limits of the Serranía de Cuenca Nature Reserve, only 28 kilometres from the city of Cuenca near Valdecabras, hidden between larges woods of pine trees, the Enchanted Coty can be found on a private estate, so there is a entry fee but it is only a symbolic 3€ for maintenance and preservation as it was declared a Natural Site of National Interest on June 11, 1929.



The route around “Ciudad Encantada” is marked out and many of the rocky formations have signs with the names of figures they resemble, all of which are pretty simple to recognise: The Boat, the Dog, the Sea of Stone, Roman Bridge, the Seal, the Bears, the Slide, the Lovers of Teruel, the Mushrooms, the Convent, the Turtle, etc. 

The reason behind the existence of all these fanciful and mysterious shapes is the different hardness and composition of the rocks. At the top there is magnesian limestone, grey and more resistant to erosion than the one below, which has a reddish tone. The lower part erodes faster than the upper part, creating shelters and cornices and shapes that simply defy the law of gravity.

The area around Ciudad Encantada is also magical. The vegetation includes gall oaks, savin, juniper, box trees, bramble, etc. Flocks of sheep graze in the surrounding area and there is a distinct scent of rosemary and thyme. 

Located between two rivers, the Júcar and the Huécar, Cuenca is unusual in itself. People say that this city is balanced harmoniously between nature and city life. It is another Spanish city declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco, and rightly so. 



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Paul said:
08 March 2014 @ 08:57

Ah, the beautiful Ciudad Encantada! First visited at the tender age of 20 whilst spending my first year ever in Spain (Cuenca). The year: 1976. Since then I have visited many times, with my family, with groups of school pupils from Manchester where I used to teach Spanish, I even asked for my ashes to be scattered upon the Mar De Piedra when I die.....
An awesome sight, set high amongst the pine trees of my beautiful adopted town of Cuenca...I love it....

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