Hanging Houses of Cuenca – Cuenca, Spain - Atlas Obscura

Nestled in the the city of Cuenca, in the autonomous community of Castile-La Mancha is a fine example of the absolute maximization of available space that the 15th through 18th centuries could provide.

Cuenca is located some 85 miles east of Madrid. The city is perched high atop a hill and as the population grew, the topography prevented the city from spreading out the way most cities do. So the people of Cuenca did the next best thing: they expanded upwards, and outwards.

These structures, known as “hanging houses” seem to cling perilously to rocky outcroppings. Sometimes topping out at seven or eight stories (gravity defying or the age), these rascacielos, or skyscrapers, often extended out over the valley far below.

Though they were once a common sight throughout the city, only one fully intact structure of this type remains.  Las Casas Colgadas, translated literally as The Hanging Houses, is now the location of the Cuenca Spanish Museum of Abstract Arts as well as a restaurant.