Castilla - La Mancha: discover this destination of huge cultural interest in Spain
Less than an hour away from Madrid, a magnificent cultural heritage awaits in Castilla - La Mancha, one that will surprise you with its archaeological parks, ancient settlements and monuments. To wander around its museums is to take a stroll through history - Roman, Mudejar, and even as far back at the Copper Age. Discover places of interest where you can learn as well as enjoy.
Rock shelters in Fuencaliente and Villar del Humo, Ciudad Real
In these shallow caves known as rock shelters or abrigos, you can admire cave paintings from the Chalcolithic period (2,500 - 1,800 BCE) up to the Bronze Age (1,800 - 750 BCE). There are great differences between the paintings, which range from a basic outline of a man and a woman to detailed paintings of animals in refined techniques, reflecting changes as ancient societies developed over time.
Carranque archaeological park, Toledo
Near the Guadarrama river you’ll discover the remains of what was once a Roman villa, from where a collection of mosaics, coins, engravings and high quality utensils, all of them very well preserved, were rescued, making Carranque one of the most important archaeological sites on the Iberian peninsula, dating back more than 1,500 years. Like for example the mosaic representing Adonis surrounded by greenery which narrates the story of a hunt with a whole wealth of detail.
Taller del Moro Museum, Toledo
In this museum, which was declared a Historic Artistic Monument in 1931, the Mudejar art from the town of Toledo and the walls and structure of the building will give you the sensation of having been transported back in time to the 14th century. You’ll see the carved wood ceilings typical of Islamic buildings, and artefacts in red clay and marble.
Roman Lapis Specularis mines, Cuenca
Visit Cuenca to see the mines where the Romans mined lapis specularis, a kind of gypsum that forms transparent crystal sheets, and was used in windows and other spaces in much the same way as glass. The mine has three levels, and you can go into chambers that are 2,000 years old and walk through galleries and spaces that will leave you speechless. There’s a famous story about this place called La Mora Encantada, a legend that tells of a North African princess who hid a treasure that was protected by powerful spells.
The historic ensemble of Hita
Hita is a charming medieval town with Gothic fortifications, where you can discover the world of the author Juan Ruiz, known as the Archpriest of Hita, who wrote The Book of Good Love. You’ll also discover the story of the Marqués de Santillana, who fortified the city in 1441, raising a city wall and rebuilding the old castle high up on the ridge. And if you visit on the first Saturday in July, you’ll be able to enjoy the famous Medieval Theatre Festival, an event that has been declared a Property of Cultural Interest, and is not to be missed.