Considered by many to be one of the most beautiful cities in Spain, Salamanca is not only known for its University, one of the oldest and most reputable in Europe, but also for its important and beautiful historical heritage declared in 1988 a World Heritage Site. Taking into account that the city is full of beautiful corners, in this post we will make a tour of the 10 best places to visit in Salamanca.
Entering the historic center by the Puerta de Zamora and down the pedestrian street of the same name, you will arrive at what is undoubtedly the best known image of the city, the Plaza Mayor, one of the best places to visit in Salamanca. Defined by Miguel de Unamuno as “a quadrilateral. Irregular, but surprisingly harmonious, ” is considered one of the most elegant and beautiful squares in Spain and Europe.
It was built between 1729 and 1756 in the Baroque style, based on 88 semicircular arches with carved medallions, representing characters related to Salamanca. It also has four facades three stories high each. The Plaza Mayor is the nerve center of the city, full of bars, restaurants and also tourists, students and Salamanca that will make it very difficult for us to take a good photograph without someone appearing in the image.
HOUSE OF SHELLS
If we leave through the back door of the Plaza Mayor and take the Rúa Mayor we will arrive at another of the best places to see in Salamanca, the las de Casa Conchas , an old Gothic-style urban palace and plateresque elements with touches of Mudejar style, built between 1493 and 1517.
The uniqueness of this building lies in the approximately 300 shells of Santiago that decorate its façade, together with the Lis flowers of the Maldonado family on its coat of arms that are placed on the main door and the windows . In addition, the facade is dotted with shields and coats of arms. At present, the Las de Casa Conchas houses the headquarters of the Public Library of Salamanca, although it has also been a family home, a prison of the University and a barracks.
In addition to its façade, one of the best places to visit in Salamanca, it is inside the building, it is a beautiful patio with a handmade well in the central part and in which mixtilíneas columns typical of Salamanca are mixed, the Mudejar decoration and gargoyles.
TORRES DE LA CLERECÍA
Right in front of the Las de Casa Conchas is the Clergy, the building of the former Royal College of the Holy Spirit of the Society of Jesus, built between the s. XVII and s. XVIII. Baroque style.
This building is one of the best places to visit in Salamanca because it is the Scala Coeli, a unique stairway to heaven, with which we can enjoy from the top of the Torres de la Clerecía panoramic views of the city.
From the Clerecía we can take Calle Librería until we reach the University Building, which was founded in 1218 by Alfonso IX. The construction of the Building of Main Schools begins of 1415 and the first phase, in charge of Alonso Rodriguez, was extended until 1433.
The most important part of this building is its facade of 1529, for many the masterpiece of the Spanish plateresque. This is one of the best places to visit in Salamanca, in front of which dozens of tourists gather every day in search of the famous frog that, according to tradition, their find augurs success in their studies. I found it hard to find a good time but finally, I fulfilled my goal!
CIELO DE SALAMANCA
In one of the corners of the Schoolyard is the entrance to the Building of Minor Schools where the baccalaureate was taught.One of its classrooms is one of the best places to visit in Salamanca, since it is where the so-called “Cielo de Salamanca” is preserved, a third part of an extraordinary mural painting of the 15th century attributed to Fernando Gallego that alludes to themes astronomical and astrological that previously decorated the roof of the University Library.
Right at the back of the University is the Plaza de Anaya where the Palacio de Anaya is located, one of the few buildings in Salamanca in the neoclassical style that currently houses the Faculty of Philosophy. In front of the faculty is one of the best places to visit Salamanca, the New Cathedral, one of the two cathedrals of the city, built between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries. This cathedral is the second largest in Spain in dimensions and its bell tower, 93 meters high, is also one of the highest in the country.