Salamanca, Castile-Leon (Spain)

According to Citypopulationreview, Salamanca is located in the western part of Spain. The city is located 212 km northwest of Madrid and is the capital of the province of the same name.

Even before our era, a Celtic settlement was located on the site of the modern city. Under the Romans, Salamanca became one of the key points of the famous “Silver Road” – the road that connected the southern and northern parts of Spain.and along which the Roman troops advanced from south to north. However, the most significant moment in the history of the city was in 1218, when King Alphonse IX founded a university here, where Cervantes, Calderon and Lope de Vega later studied. For many centuries, the city developed along with the university: new buildings, churches and monasteries were erected here. By the end of the 15th century, Salamanca, thanks to the university, became one of the key cultural centers in Spain. Due to the abundance of architectural monuments in 1985, the Old Town of Salamanca was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The appearance of Salamanca is unique: all its ancient buildings are made of golden brown stone, which was mined in the vicinity of the city.

Old city located on the right bank of the river Tormes. Sightseeing, of course, is worth starting from the central square – Plaza Mayor, surrounded by baroque buildings, decorated with sculptural compositions, carvings and reliefs depicting prominent Spaniards. It was built in the middle of the 18th century and is now considered one of the most beautiful squares in Spain. Along its perimeter are the buildings of the Municipality, the City Hall, the Royal Pavilion, as well as restaurants, cafes and shops. Near the square is the Romanesque church of Iglesia de San Martin (12th century). To the north of the Plaza Mayor depart the shopping streets of Zamora and Toro.

South of the square, up to the banks of the Tormes River, the University Quarter extends.. The University of Salamanca is one of the oldest in Europe. It was founded at the beginning of the 13th century, and in the 15th and 16th centuries it became one of the largest educational centers in Europe. The main building of the University was built in the 15th century in the Gothic style. Its plateresque façade, added in the 16th century, is decorated with images of mythical heroes, religious scenes and coats of arms. Inside the building, climbing the monumental staircase, you will see the ancient lecture halls, named after the prominent scientists who taught here. It is also worth visiting the University Library, which contains about 160 thousand books, and the University Museum and stroll through the narrow streets and courtyards of the University Quarter.

The University is adjacent to the Old and New Cathedrals. The Old Cathedral was built in the 12th-13th centuries in the Romanesque style, and in the 16th-18th centuries the New Cathedral was added to it, in which two styles were mixed: Gothic and Renaissance. The dome of the New Cathedral is visible from almost anywhere in the Old City. Its facades are decorated with biblical scenes. The Old Cathedral is famous for its altar. It consists of 53 canvases from the 15th century depicting biblical scenes. The altar is topped with a fresco of the Last Judgment and a sculpture of the Virgin Mary de la Vega. Inside the Old Cathedral is a small Cathedral Museum, which houses paintings by masters of religious art. Opposite the cathedrals stands the 18th -century neoclassical Palacio de Anaya, which now houses the Faculty of Philology of the University. Nearby is the Museum of Modern and Decorative Arts. The halls of the museum are housed in a building from the early 20th century. Art objects of the late 19th and early 20th centuries are collected here: furniture, paintings by local masters, ceramics, glass and bronze items, gold and ivory figurines, toys, precious jewelry and a collection of Faberge eggs. Also in the vicinity of the University it is worth visiting the Museum of Salamanca, which is located in the 15th century palace of Casa Abarca (works of religious art, sculpture and archaeological finds are collected here); the late 15th century Casa de las Conchas (literally “House of Shells”), whose façade is decorated with 300 shell-shaped decorative elements; the 17th century Jesuit College of La Cleresia, where the Jesuits served, taught and lived; and house-museum of the scientist and poet Miguel de Unamuno.

Very beautiful are the church of the monastery of San Esteban (15th century), whose facade is made in the plateresco style, the adjacent two-tiered gallery of Claustro de los Reyes (16th century), and the Las Dueñas monastery located opposite, the courtyard gallery of which is decorated with sculptures bizarre animals. Nearby is Columbus Square, in the center of which a monument to Columbus was erected, and the octagonal Clavero tower of the 15th century.

Salamanca, Castile-Leon (Spain)