tile map of Cuenca
Cuenca, city in southern Ecuador, capital of Azuay Province, in a valley of the Andes Mountains , about 2583 m (about 8468 ft) above sea level. Much of the quinine bark of Ecuador is shipped from Cuenca, and the city is also a center for the trimming, stitching, and shipping of Panama hats, so called because of their former center of distribution.
the "Panama" hat
Photos of "Panama" hat manufacture
Other industries in the city are the refining of sugar, the manufacture of woolen goods and pottery, and the shipping of grain, hides, and cheese. Cuenca, founded in 1557, is the seat of a bishop and the site of two universities.
the flower market
building in old town
street in town
woman selling fruit
Despite its industrial and commercial development, the city of Cuenca is especially known for its picturesque appearance and many old houses, often displaying murals and old-fashioned Spanish proverbs painted on the patio walls. Population (1996 estimate) 247,421.
Text by Microsoft Encarta
church on the hill above the town
Illustrated teaching murals around this church
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