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Enchanted City


Between the villages of Uña and Villalba de la Sierra, the passing of river Jucar creates a gigantic and impressive canyon. It is here, at an altitude of almost 1500 meters, where nature has treated it self to one of those caprices that mesmerize visitors. La Ciudad Encantada, declared nature site of national interest. This geological phenomenon, known worldwide, consists of rock formations literally sculpted by the effects of water, wind and ice which have eroded the rocks for centuries creating human shapes, objects, animals, with a precision that is hard to comprehend, the result, a delirious city, a city that sleeps under the effects of a mysterious spell.

It is the different hardness and composition of the rocks that have made it possible for these sculptures to form in Ciudad Encantada. Certainly, these rocks which have a greyish colour at the top, are dolomias (manganese limestone low in lime) and at the bottom, reddish, madly limestone, with less magnesium and less resistant to erosion. Walking around Ciudad Encantada creates the illusion of walking in a Cyclopean and labyrinth-like city, with streets and squares, Roman bridges, Gothic gates, monoliths, tiny forests and even big ships upright on their keel. At the entrance and buried up to the shoulders, a huge head peaks out like a permanent sentinel. The itinerary is marked and the formations have names in writing but the visitor will immediately see the resemblance: the Ships, the Dog, the Sea of Stone, the Elephant,…. Countless surprises, gifts of nature which delight the adult visitors and feed the dreams of the little ones. The surroundings of la Ciudad Encantada are also quite magical. The splendid vegetation formed by gall, junipers, spreading junipers, boxwood, blackberry trees, … Sheep herds grazing and breaking the silence with the sound of their shearing. And there is always a scent of rosemary, thyme and marjoram in the air.