Certified with the International Tour Management Institute, Manuel Marquez, MD is a well-known tour director who works with Insight Vacations by Destination America. One of the destinations Manuel Marquez, MD has led private tours to is Spain, including specifically in Barcelona, Madrid, and Cuenca.
Situated in Castilla-La Mancha, within day-trip distance from Madrid, Cuenca encompasses an ancient walled city on a ridge and a lower new city. At the heart of the old city is a 12th century cathedral that was built on the site of a mosque and represents one of the earliest examples of Gothic architecture in Spain. Numerous additions over the centuries mean that the church now offers an enervating melange of contrasting styles, from Baroque to neo-Gothic.
Another highlight is the stone-hewn Casas Colgadas or “hanging houses” which date back to the 14th century. Precipitously lining the cliffs of the old town, the houses feature distinctive wooden balconies. One highlight for visitors is a casa that has been transformed into an abstract art gallery that perfectly complements the airy setting.
Located across the St Pablo Bridge from the Casas Colgadas, the 16th-century monastery Parador de Cuenca is another “must-see” that has been transformed into gallery space focused on local artist Gustavo Torner and a high-end hotel.