My infatuation with Cuenca began in 2007 when I saw a copy of “Cuenca, Sketchbook of a Spanish Hill Town” at the Ayala Museum in Makati, Philippines.
Produced by the Department of Printing and Graphic Arts of Harvard College Library, the book is a charming collection of sketches by Fernando Zobel, a Filipino artist, graduate of Harvard University, and one of the heirs to the Ayala fortune. It features both important and ordinary buildings, and town scenes.
Some sixty drawings were done in pen & ink and watercolor. Zobel first arrived in Cuenca in 1963. He was instrumental in establishing the Museum of Spanish Abstract Art. Zobel is also credited for the restoration of the emblematic Las Casas Colgadas (Hanging House) which now houses the Museum and a bookstore where I was able to purchase a copy.
Las Casas Colgadas looks impressive from any angle. Inside, it is one of the most beautiful small museums in Europe incorporating the surrounding views of the hillside town as part of the display.
It was truly worth waiting 10 years. I am grateful that J.J. and I were able to come to Cuenca as our personal pilgrimage in discovering a place where most tour companies exclude as a destination.
Aloha -- Cathi