A golden and historical seat of learning that has been described as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.
Salamanca has been an important city for over 2000 years. The 'Old City' was declared a World Heritage Site in 1988 by UNESCO.
Salamanca is a city that delivers its gems with considerable finesse, this is Spain's plateresque city with so many succulent buildings on offer. A city rich with offerings from the 15th and 16th centuries. The visitor is spoilt for choice as all artistic trends from Romanesque to modernism are evidenced here. The golden stone of the buildings provides a unity throughout the city.
Salamanca has its monumental sights and the University of Salamanca which was founded in 1218 and is the oldest university in Spain and the fifth oldest western university. With its 30,000 students, the university is, together with tourism, the economic heart of the city. Salamanca is also known for the teaching of the Spanish language and in this field, Salamanca attracts thousands of foreign students every year. The University features heavily in Salamancas Easter Week, Semana Santa religious festival. Read More
Salamanca town hall website
read the history of Salamanca on the town hall website
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there are recommended cycle routes around the city
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Bicycle loan system "SALENBICI"
Salamanca town hall tourism guide- in English
Highly recommended by the city council are 'Plaza Mayor'. A gift from Philip V after the cities loyalty to the Bourbon cause during the 'War of Spanish Succession'. Considered to be one of the most beautiful squares in Spain. Alberto de Churriguera designed the square and work was started in 1729 with the 'Pabellón Real'. The work was completed in 1755 by Garcia Quiñones. The 'Ayuntamiento' ( town hall ) was completed the same year.
'Plaza Mayor' has many fine bars and restaurants with traditions such as 'The Café Novelty' ( founded 1905 ) where a statue of Gonzalo Torrente Bailester ( 1910 - 1999 ) appears sitting on a sofa as though in conversation.
In The Plaza del Corillo, The 'San Martin Church' has been present since the 12 century, the decoration includes St. Martin sharing his cape with a beggar.
Thomas Becket is remembered in The Plaza de Santo Tomás where 'The Church of Santo Tomás' was completed in 1175 five years after his death.
Salamanca has two cathedrals. 'The Old Cathedral' (Catedral Vieja) completed in the late 13th century the design blending Romanesque to Gothic. There are three naves with a ribbed vault and capitals featuring valuable sculptural work. 'The Torre del Gallo' here is more elegant than others elsewhere.
The Torre de Gallo on the Catedral Vieja in Salamanca
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Master builder Juan Gil de Hontañón began work on the 'The New Cathedral' (Catedral Nueva) in 1512.
There are extremely high vaults and beautiful stellar details.
The University’s Historic Building, the oldest in Spain began its life as the General Studies of the kingdom, founded in 1218 by Alfonso IX, king of León. Thirty six years later AlfonsoX bestowed university status on the institution. Since then it has been the renowned centre of studies in Spain. This has been the driving force behind the city's economic and cultural success. It is traditional for visitors to try to find the frog on its façade.
Features of note in the university include the Fray Luis lecture hall the reliefs along the stairwell of the cloister, and the Library, founded in 1254 by Alfonso X “the Wise”, with its collection of priceless manuscripts and pre-1500 publications including a copy of the Tohá and the so-called “libros redondos” that Torres Villaroel bought in Paris and which are in fact globes, but he gave them this name so that the librarian at that time would agree to pay for them.
The Casa de las Conchas, famous for its main façade which is covered with hundreds of shells.
Also la Clerecía Church and the Pontifical University.
And don’t forget to climb the La Clerecía Towers and enjoy some spectacular views over the city from the tower balconies, a breathtaking vantage point.
Enjoy the excellent restaurants with a wide choice of menu including locally-grown products, like Guijuelo cured ham, “morucha” beef, lentils from Armuña, chanfaina (rice with a chorizo and pork stew), roasts…locally-produced Salamanca cheeses, olive oils and wines.
Enjoy your meal in the city (Parador de Turismo) which has great views or in the Plaza Mayor, or even in a contemporary art centre or how about in a traditional Castilian tavern.
Photo opportunies can be enjoyed at the Roman Bridge or the Calixto y Melibea Gardens, of unique Muslim design.
The Casa de Lis, an impressive modernist building overlooking the river Tormes with stained glass and wrought iron grills, is just one of the city’s treasures. It is home to the Art Nouveau and Art Déco Museum includes decorative art from the end of the 19th up to the early 20th century, which include the porcelain doll, bronze and marble figurine and glassware collections.
There area a number of convents of huge cultural significance in Salamanca, especially those of San Esteban and of Las Dueñas. You must try the pastries, home made by the nuns. Enjoy the taste whilst relaxing in the cloisters, entertained by the views of the Cathedral.
Salamanca has mysteries and legends, including the Cueva de Salamanca, the Salamanca Caves, a magical place where it is said that the Devil used to give classes in the dark arts; and the Patio de la Salina, the former salt store.
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Cuesta Carvajal, 7, 37008 Salamanca, Spain
Google street view
cave entrance at night
Palacio de Salinas
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Calle San Pablo, 18,
37001 Salamanca, Spain
Palacio de salinas street view
The main dates on the cultural calendar are Easter, lunes de aguas (Water Monday), the Castile-and-Léon Arts Festival (June) the San Juan de Sahagún Festival (12 June), the Fairs and Festivals in September and the Mariquelo climb up the cathedral Tower (31 October).
Casa de las Conchas
Rúa Mayor, s/n
37008 Salamanca (Salamanca)
Tel.: +34 923268571
Plaza Mayor 1 - 8ª
37002 Salamanca (Salamanca)
Tel.: +34 923272408
Plaza Mayor, 14
37002 Salamanca (Salamanca)
Tel.: +34 902302002/ +34 923 218342
Paradores in Spain
Parador de Salamanca
Paradore de Salamanca
Teso de la Feria, 2
37008 Salamanca Salamanca
Performing arts theatre
Plaza del Liceo, s/n, 37002 Salamanca, Spain
Phone: +34 923 28 06 19