September 21, 2010

El Puente Roto and De Las Herrerias Street

While driving into town I had passed a street a couple of times that looked different, somehow older and more lived-in in a very appealing way, so this Sunday we decided to go find this street. I had a pretty good idea of where it was located and I knew the name had a workman ring to it. Looking at the map I figured out it was De Las Herrerias Street (The Street of the Blacksmiths).

We walked east along the river and it was the first time I stopped by El Puente Roto (The Broken Bridge). This bridge was partially destroyed by flooding in 1950 and now serves as a sort of lookout point to the south of the city and as the location of an arts festival. The first thing I noticed was a whimsical sculpture perched on a roof next to the bridge.

Then I looked down and saw the entrance to a disco below the bridge. Unfortunately a small square right in front of the disco appears to be used as a make shift pissoir so it made the location a little sketchy.

Here is the end of the bridge, broken where it would have spanned the river.

The combination of differently textured and colored stones (some are the most beautifully subtle blue) makes for richly detailed stone work.

We continued on our way along the river and came to an underpass, which allows people to cross the busy street without risk to life and limb.

It looked a little unsavory but we decided to take a look.

It was dark, smelly, and damp but we got an interesting surprise--some contemporary graffiti.

Pretty good stuff.

We reached the intersection where Las Herrerias begins and where this church is located--a spare design but beautifully detailed with brass bells and gorgeous doors.

Walking through a side alley we exited into a mews, reminiscent of old European neighborhoods, with privates homes lining it. It felt like a secret enclave.

This is where we ran into this bizarre looking hen--I didn't now if it was mangy or if it was just an unusual breed. We decided not to spend any more time finding out when it began to charge me!

As we walked away we saw it joined by its equally peculiar looking friend (this one looked like it was wearing a tiny toupee perched on its head).

Las Herrerias is a fairly short street, which continues to house blacksmiths' shops. The sign above advertises an establishment where you can go for all your blacksmithing needs. This place forges iron doors, windows, handrails, and furniture. If you're building your home, I bet you can have wonderful and unique stuff made here.

There's a blacksmithing museum at the end of the street, unfortunately closed on Sunday. We'll just have to come back--I know very little about forging and I'd like to see what great metal work is on display.


Laura Loveland said...

Hola Looloo from Mexico! My husband and I just found your WONDERFUL BLOG! Your charming and heartfelt way with words and your keen photo eye are a true delight in this genre. Your unique way of sharing the day-to-day life and scenes in Cuenca is so refreshing. We are American expats who are planning a visit to Ecuador after 16 years. You have inspired us. Please keep up the wonderful and special talent you have. Saludos, Laura Loveland de Espinosa

looloo said...

Aw shucks, you're making me blush! Thank you for your appreciation of the blog. I guess it'd be hard not to express the delight I find being here. Where in Mexico do you live? Are you thinking of relocating here?

Laura Loveland said...

We are spending the summer in Puerto Vallara which we love at this time of the year because it is quiet and locals only! We plan on exploring both Colombia and Ecuador for an extended period of time with arrival in Cuenca sometime in December. We will want to rent an apartment to use as our base. We are not yet ready to "settle down" but we are always looking for that special place. Would love to meet you in Cuenca. Will you be there this winter? Saludos, Laura

looloo said...

Hi Laura, I'll be here this winter--see you then!