I don´t know how a christ ended up there, but there´s a legend about this place, which in short goes like this:
"A humble man called Julian, falls in love with Ines, daugter of a noble. Julian and Ines talk here every afternoon about their future together, but in the end the social position of Ines makes their union impossible. Julian decides to become a soldier, to achieve fortune and power, and before he goes to war, both swear loyalty under the christ of the passway.
After 2 years, Ines ends up falling in love with another man, Lesmes. When Julian comes back, finally rich, he goes to see Ines at night to surprise her, but finds her and Lesmes together. When he challenges Lesmes on swordfight, he ends up tripping in the stairs, and gets stabbed dirtly by Lesmes. Ines, horrified, starts yelling for help, and Lesmes tries to escape, but ends up falling a cliff and dying in the spot. After this, Ines end up in a convent, praying for the souls of the 2 mens that died because her."
I knew by the pictures i had watched before, that the staff of SnW was quite influenced by Cuenca, but one of my curiosities before my travel, was to know how much this influence was. After watching this spot, i began thinking that it takes a nice imagination to turn the real life place into a part of the history in the series. I mean, it´s easy to take a background, draw it and stick it into the animation, but making use of a significative spot like this and turning it into something part of the legend is a great touch in my opinion.
I loved this place. I ended up resting there for a while, because it really did feel a bit special. I am not a believer person, so the christ doesn´t really mean anything to me, but while i was there, "Servante the Feu" popped in my head and some images of the first episode came through my imagination.
OK, moving on. Few steps further from there we reach this viewpoint, which was used in the ending. One of the thing that happened to me while looking for spots, is that i walked through there and wouldn´t notice them until i was back later, or until i was in the hotel checking the pictures of the day, or checking the series to see if i could reconogise anything. This was one of the places that happened, see that building in the background with the visible timbers? i knew that i have seen in somewhere, but until i watched the series ending again i was at a loss where.
And this is the view of the Parador we get from here. Makes sense that the girls would come to this spot, but once again, this is the sort of thing you can only know by knowing the place.
OK. If we go down this street, we will reach the "City hall plaza", quite a familiar spot. The Water festival in the first episode, the encounter of Noel and Seiya in EP.4, the market in episode 6... all those take part here. This is the widest bit of the old part of Cuenca, because the rest of the streets are quite cramped, and most of the social life takes part here.
Well, you can see that it´s full of cars, which ruins the picture. If you plan on doing this trip someday, i´d strongly suggest to avoid the tourist seasons, because the high amount of people and cars running up and down doesn´t do much if you are trying to figure this as Seize. I know that my next travel here (I know that one of this days i am going back...) will be on winter, because i don´t mind cold and i rather walk here mostly alone. On the other hand, the summer season, with clear blue skies, really suited the summer Seize, so if you can keep up with the intense heat (which i can´t), it should be a good choice too.
Shop seen in SnW. I notices that even if Seize it´s supossed to be located in the border between France and Switzerland, and they apparently speak french, some of the signs in the series are left in spanish, like this one.
The spot where Kanata get´s soaked in EP.1. No better picture (Sorry...) but notice how the houses in the back match. I noticed that the fountain seen in the anime doesn´t exist here, but there´s a smaller fountain stuck to the wall just behind where i took the picture, artistic licence i guess, because the scene wouldn´t work otherwise.
Below that fence, another street starts, which goes to the top of the city. Some random shots of that part have been used in the series.
At the point i took those last 2 shots, there´s this passway that takes us to another familiar sight.
The Stairs from the ending (aijou yuujou...). Once again, i did go a couple of times down these before i reconogiced them.
Well, Let´s head to the Parador. For that, you have to go back to the hall plaza, and take a street at the the side of the spectacular cathedral.
Incidentally, these are the stairs where Kanata and Yumina have a talk in episode 6. Makes sense because the market is happening at this very same spot.
On the way down there we find this fountain. This one was hard to find too, when i asked a couple of policemen about a gargoyle face fountain, they told me that the only one in that part of the city had been dismantled. But one day i entered a shop just beside it to get a drink, and i noticed it when i sat just beside it to have a rest...
Moving on. This is the street where the 1121 parks it´s vehicles (Kubelwagen and bikes). Once again, the amount of attention to detail that the makers of SnW put into the series is awesome, because this spot is in the place it´s supossed to be, with the proper buildings on place, and the composition of te street carefully represented, once again this are things you think about once you are in the real place.
I only noticed a slight difference here: In real life the only way you can access it by vehicle is by going up the road that goes to the San Pedro Bridge (which i did, almost killing the clutch in my car) but in the anime the ramp on the left is wider and it´s the actual direction the 1121 uses, my guess is that made the thing a bit more practical, because in real life if you wanna drive from here to the mail hall, you must take the road down the san pablo bridge and find your way inside the city, while in the anime with that extra road they can drive straight into it.
This shop is located in the other side of the street, from here at least the sign was used in the series. One interesting fact: The residents in Helvetia are supossed to speak in French, because all their texts are in French, but most of the shop signs and street names in Seize are left in Spanish. The only translated one i can recall is the one in this shop, that it keeps the original design but it changes the text.
Now that i think about it. This must be the only shop in Cuenca that has downstairs on the entrance. I was unable to find anything similar to the shop of Naomi in the series, so maybe they based the insides of it on this shop, but because i didn´t think about it when i was in there i am now left with the doubt...
Now at this point, you can´t tell how close we are to the San Pablo Bridge and the Parador. In fact the buildings you see in this picture are back part of the famous "Casas Colgadas", but there´s no clue about it until you go into that passway...
Here we are. The famous "Casas Colgadas" of Cuenca. I have been inside a similar building in a town called "Frias" (which BTW, could have been another great seeting for this series, google it if you have the time), and i can tell why Kanata was impressed with the views in episode 1, the impressive landscape and the big height to the floor makes it quite a nice place to be. But thinking about it, from that point Kanata would get a fucking clear view of the Parador, and even the path you take to reach it (the bridge), i guess she felt so guilty about Rio´s bell that she completely forgets about her appointment, and ends walking up to the other fucking side of the town!
This shot from EP.1 has been taken from here. This was a case of were the fuck has this been taken from, but i had a bit of a clue from the webpage of a Japanese fan who had done this trip and posted the exact location he had taken this shot at.
And this shot has been taken on the path to the bridge, and it was used in EP.12
Well, finally we are here. This is the place you can´t miss if you do this trip, just let me start another entry...