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Probably inhabited in Roman times, Cuenca remained obscure until Muslim occupation. Fortified by one Ismail bin Dilnun early in the 11th century, the city became a flourishing textile centre. The Christians took their time conquering the place, and it fell only in 1177 to Alfonso VIII. Like much of Spain’s interior, 16th-century Cuenca slipped once again into decline and hardship, something from which it only began to recover during the 20th century.