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Destination of Salamanca

Salamanca is a town, municipality and Spanish city, capital of the homonymous province, located in the autonomous community of Castilla y León. It is located in the region of Campo de Salamanca, on the North plateau, in the northwest quadrant of the Iberian Peninsula. It is also the center of the judicial district number one in the province of Salamanca According to data from the National Statistics Institute in 2017, it had a population of 144,436 inhabitants. Its stable functional area reaches 203,999 citizens, which makes it the third most populated community, after the Valladolid and Leon.


Salamanca is located in the Campo de Salamanca, next to the Tormes river. Salamanca is famous above all for two reasons: for possessing one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in Spain (to which the saying Quod natura non dat refers , Salmantica non praestat; in Castilian "What nature gives us, Salamanca lends us") and for its splendid architectural heritage, built almost exclusively with the golden stone of Villamayor. All this makes us find one of the most beautiful historical centers in Spain, thanks to the good state of conservation of its buildings, including its two cathedrals, the Romanesque and late Gothic. It has 159,000 inhabitants (2006) although its metropolitan area and students exceeds 250,000. Its economy is based mainly on the services sector, the university and tourism being one of the most visited capitals of Spain.

Although the province of Salamanca records remains of occupation for more than 20,000 years, paintings were found in the Batuecas and at the mouth of the Uces river, next to the Pozo de los Humos. Before the arrival of the Romans, it seems that the settlement of the city was founded by peoples of Indo-European culture, around the 5th century BC The city is already mentioned by Diodoro as Helmantiké or "place of divination". Another explanation for this name states that the city took the name of a pre-Roman god named Helman. The truth is that before the Roman domination of the Peninsula, the Duero basin was occupied by vacceos, who built two fortresses to defend the western side of their territory, one in Zamora and one in Salamanca. The nucleus emerged around this strength came to acquire some importance. The most rigorous news affirm that, in 220 BC, in the course of an expedition of the Carthaginian Hanibal through the Plateau, he besieged the city. Thus, Plutarch says that "Hanibal besieged it and its inhabitants, who to avoid further damage, submitted to him by offering them three hundred talents of silver and as many hostages, raising the siege, but the residents, failed to keep their promises and protected by their women who had hidden the arms and managed to defeat the troops of Hanibal "(possible origin of the popular party of the Águedas). However, they were finally captured by the Carthaginian general who, according to Polibio, "admired for the courage of his women, for them he returned to his men the homeland and wealth." and, later, by the Romans. These, after his victory over the Carthaginians, consolidated in the Peninsula, occupying Salamanca and developing it as a city. Its importance as a commercial center resided especially for its strategic position, between the routes from north to south, and vice versa.

Roman Salamanca
The Romans built along the river Tormes one of the most important Roman roads of Hispania, the Vía de la Plata, drawn in the first century and merging with Emerita Augusta (Mérida) with Cesar Augusta (Zaragoza). The Romans enclosed the urban area and caused the demographic growth of the city. The boarIt is a Roman testimony and is located at the entrance of the Roman Bridge. It dates from the 4th-1st centuries BC Its author is anonymous. With the fall of the Carthaginians and the importance for the Romans the city of Helmantica (Salamanca), located on the Ruta de la Plata, and trying to ingratiate themselves with the inhabitants of the area, they raise the Toro monument, a symbol representative of the city.


The origins of the city go back to about 2700 years ago, during the first Iron Age, when the first settlers of the city settled on the hill of San Vicente, on the banks of the Tormes. Since then, the metropolis has witnessed the passage of various peoples: Vettones, Romans, Visigoths and Muslims. Raymond of Burgundy, son-in-law of King Alfonso VI of León, was responsible for repopulating the city during the Middle Ages and settling bases of the current Salamanca.

Salamanca houses the oldest active university in Spain, the University of Salamanca, created in 1218 by Alfonso IX de León, and was the first in Europe to hold the university title by royal cedula of Alfonso X el Sabio with date of November 9, 1252 and by document of Pope Alexander IV of 1255. During the era in which it was one of the most prestigious universities in the West, the phrase "Quod natura non dat, Salmantica non præstat" became popular 'What nature does not give, Salamanca does not lend'.


The climate of the city is continental Mediterranean type. Cold and dry winters with average temperatures that can reach 3 or 4 degrees Celsius, frequent frosts and sudden drops in temperature. The summer is short and hot and the average temperature in the months of July and August revolves around 22ºC, with maximums that can exceed 35º. Spring and autumn are characterized by a strong instability and rains throughout the year are usually quite scarce and irregularly distributed.

Salamanca has an important university, which gives the city a lively student atmosphere. In 2002 it was European cultural capital, and since then a cultural program called Salamanca city of culture has been followed . It has several museums, one of the most important is the one that is located in the Casa Lis , where an important collection of Art Noveau, and Art Deco is exhibited, there is also the DA2 where pieces by contemporary artists are exhibited and the room temporary exhibitions of the Palace of La Salina.

The official language is Castilian. In the popular speech of the city there are still small turns coming from Astur-Leon, influences that can be felt with much greater depth in other areas of the province such as Arribes del Duero , county of Ciudad Rodrigo and Sierra de Francia. English can be used without problems in tourist areas. However, outside of the historic center its use is unadvisable, since among the population the percentage of people with an average level of English is still very low.






Travel Destinations in Salamanca

Regarding what you can visit, the city itself is a wonder: from the Plaza Mayor towards the Cathedral you will discover authentic treasures. Walk through all the streets of that area and do not miss any detail: the Plaza Mayor, the façade of the Old University, with its famous frog, the New Salamanca Cathedral and the Old Salamanca Cathedral (do not miss "the small courtyard"), the Casa de las Shells, various palaces, churches and convents, Roman bridge, etc. You will find two tourist offices in the historic center. The main one is in the Plaza Mayor (Plaza Mayor, 32, +34 902302002, +34 923218342), although there is also one in the Rúa Mayor, around the main facade of the Casa de las Conchas (Shells).

Salamanca University  Calle Libreros ( Entrance by the Façade of the Major Schools, in front, at the bottom of the Patio of the Minor Schools, are these ). + 34 923294400 (ext 1150). A magnificent façade, which marks the entrance to the so-called Major Schools, is known for a small frog sculpted in it, which all visitors try to locate. Inside, there are classrooms in which master classes taught as well-known as Miguel de Unamuno, Fray Luis de León and Francisco de Vitoria. It also houses the Old Library of the Salamanca University. Through the courtyard of the Escuelas Menor you can access the so-called "Cielo de Salamanca", a part of the vault of the old library passed to canvas. € 4.00, € 2.00 (retirees and groups of +20), free admission Monday morning ). Free admission to the Minor Schools .
Old Salamanca Cathedral . Anaya Square Romanesque style, is attached to the New Salamanca Cathedral. € 4.25, € 3.50 ( groups +20 ), € 2.75 ( Spanish schoolchildren ), free admission Tuesday until 12.
New Salamanca Cathedral . Plaza de Anaya. +34 923217476. Daily 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM and 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM. A large Gothic cathedral, some of whose most interesting elements are the reliefs located above and to the sides of the entrance doors in the Plaza de Anaya and the Cardenal Pla and Daniel streets. On the left side of the entrance to the Plaza de Anaya you can find a surprising representation of an astronaut, product of the last restoration. Free entrance.
Convent of San Esteban . Square of the Council of Trento. - + 34923215000 € 3.00, € 2.00 ( groups +20, students and retirees ).
House of the Shells . Calle Compañía, 2. +34 923269317. It has a striking facade that gives it its name. Free entrance.
Clerecía . Calle Compañía (in front of the Casa de las Conchas ). +3492327710. Headquarters of the Pontifical University of Salamanca. Guided tours every half hour. € 2.50, € 2.00 (groups +20).
Palace of Anaya . It is a neoclassical palace that was founded by D. Diego de Anaya y Maldonado born Salamanca in 1357 and died in Seville in 1437, a priest and patron of Salamanca who before dedicating himself to the priesthood married Dña Maria de Orozco and had two sons Juan and Diego Anaya. Orozco and his wife died when he was very young, became a religious being appointed Bishop of Salamanca and Archbishop of Seville, in addition to being ambassador of John II at the Council of Constance where the Schism of the West was resolved.
He was a thinker and lover of literature with great view of the importance of knowledge and as a precursor of study, taught and founded in 1401 in Salamanca, Colegio Mayor San Bartolomé, known as Colegio Mayor de Anaya or Old College.
It started with a group of students from lower social position that emphasized in his teachings and ended up occupying important position in the State, like their own children who excelled in his time and gradually was acquiring income and buying land and orchards surrounding the cathedral triangle where the square built by Marshal Thiébald is located.
D. Diego is buried in the Chapel of San Bartolomé or Anaya, which he himself founded, in the cloister of the Old Cathedral of Salamanca.
Palace of Fonseca or La Salina . It was built in 1538. It currently houses the headquarters of the Provincial Council. Called Salina for being an old salt warehouse where this product was stored in its basements, this use being the primary origin of this Renaissance style building.
The façade has four arches with medallions of busts in relief, such as Cleopatra's or Marco Antonio's. Several artisans of the time intervened in its remodeling, it could be the work of Rodrigo Gil de Hontañón.
Its varied Gothic and Renaissance styles, with wooden chairs highlight the work of the time, has a Renaissance gallery with five typical semicircular arches and large medallions, this technique marks a characteristic trend of the moment.
According to the legend, this Palace was built by Alonso II de Fonseca, archbishop of Seville, a relevant figure, with detractors everywhere licentious and immoral life that had many lovers. Among them, María de Ulloa.


He ordered the construction especially to house what was originally his concubine and ended up giving him as son to D. Alonso de Fonseca y Ulloa. He is also a clergyman and a theologian as well as a Law graduate, and he studied at the Universities of Salamanca, Bologna and in Rome, returning to Spain as Archbishop of Santiago de Compostela.
The whole building is neoclassical, highlighting the main facade, with four gigantic Ionic columns that are topped by a triangular pediment and a very broad Greek-style staircase.
Calle San Pablo, 24. +34923293233. Free entrance.
Puente Romano .

Other Churches and Religious Buildings of Interest
Church of San Marcos
Convent of the Ursulas
Convent of the Dueñas
Church of San Benito
Church of Sancti Spíritus
Church of Santo Tomás Cantuariense The repopulation of Salamanca attracted, with exemptions and privileges, people from very different origins. These groups were distributed in the interior and exterior of the walled enclosure, which forced the construction of a new fence in 1147. Portogaleses and Bregancianos would occupy a large part of the land that extended between the two walls to the southeast of the city, grouping around the churches that were raising. Santo Tomás Cantuariense was built in the territory of the Portogaleses. It was erected in honor of St. Thomas Becket, archbishop of Canterbury who was martyred in 1170 and canonized by Pope Alexander III two years later. At that time they were in Salamanca as teachers of the Cathedral School that would be the foundation of the University of Salamanca, the English brothers Ricardo and Randulfo, who in 1175 decided to raise in honor of the compatriot saint a church, becoming the first of the world Christian under such advocation.


Parks and gardens
Orchard of Calixto and Melibea . Access by Plaza de los Leones. Open 10:00 until sunset. Free entrance.
Parque de la Alamedilla
Park of the Jesuits
Park of the Aldehuela


Museums and Exhibition Halls

Casa Lis or Art Nouveau and Art Deco Museum. Calle El Expolio, 14. +34923121425. € 3.00, € 2.00 ( students, retirees and groups +10 ), free admission Thursday 11:00 a.m.
Museum of Commerce . Avda. Campoamor. +34923238402
Automotive Museum . Old Market Square. € 3.00, € 2.00 ( students, retirees and groups +10 ), free admission first Tuesday of each month.
Da2. or Domus Artium. Museum of contemporary art. Avda. De la Aldehuela. +34923184916 Free entrance.
Other places to visit
Monterrey Palace
Portales del Corrillo
Cave of Salamanca
Fonda Veracruz Former Salamanca mansion, used as an inn during the 20th century. He tells us the history of the old Jewish quarter of Salamanca. It is an old mansion set in the style of the grandeur and sobriety of Salamanca architecture typical of 19th century mansions. Its singular construction by a central access without exit, from which it goes to the right and left to the stairs to access the upper floors. Very interesting.
Currently it is the headquarters of the Hospitality School of Salamanca.
Church of San Millán The building is located on Veracruz Street, in the old territory of the Serranos. Although it was one of the first Romanesque churches in Salamanca, only the apse remains of the original building. At the beginning of the 18th century the building joined San Millán College. It was rebuilt in 1765 by Jerónimo García de Quiñones. The last occupants of the building were the Servants of Mary who used it to care for the sick.
The College, founded by Francisco Rodríguez de Varillas, was the first of the minors, after the four majors. Of the same a magnificent facade toward the street of Booksellers is conserved, today Library Santa Maria of Los Angeles, yielded by Box Duero to the University of Salamanca. It allowed eight schoolboys and five family members and his habit was dark robe and pink scholarship. Currently the building, municipal property and without worship, houses the Interpretation Center on the Architectural and Urban Heritage of the City of Salamanca, Monumenta Salmanticae, whose exhibition project was drafted and executed by the Foundation of the Historical Heritage of Castilla y León .






By plane
The military base of Matacán, which since 2006 has a civil terminal separated from the military zone, is the only airport in the city. It is located 17 km from the city in the direction of Madrid, by the N-501 road. Currently the company Air Nostrum (Domestic Iberia) offers direct connections to: Barcelona, ​​Mallorca and Paris

By train
The train station of Salamanca (Vialia) is a commercial center, from there depart trains to Madrid, Valladolid and Portugal.

By bus
The bus station, located very close to one of the most important university campuses, offers connections to almost all the provinces of Spain, being the most appropriate public transport to get to the city. The main companies operate in it, such as Alsa, Auto-res and Avanza Grupo Largo Recorrido.

By car
From the South and Northwest of Spain, you can reach the city by the Ruta de la Plata highway (A-66) that connects Gijón and Sevilla.
Travelers from Portugal , France and the Northeast of Spain will arrive via the A-62, the so-called Autovía de Castilla.
For the visitors coming from Madrid and the Spanish Levante, the best thing is by the highway of the Coruña AP-6, for later, once passed the tunnel of Guadarrama, to take the highway of Ávila (AP-51) and from there direction to the charro capital by the Autovía A-50.

Around the city
By bus
The municipal transport company allows you to move around Salamanca by bus. Other buses also arrive to dormitory towns such as Santa Marta de Tormes or Villamayor. They are two different companies and the price of the second is slightly higher.

By taxi
Salamanca has many taxis, and there are stops at the railway stations, and bus, as well as in the tourist area, and in hospitals.

By car
In the center of the city and in the historical and monumental area, most of the streets are pedestrianized and, in those that are not, there are not many parking spaces. Both in the center and in the surroundings, parking is regulated and is paid (blue zone or ORA) during most of the working days. Salamanca is a city to know and enjoy "on foot" and the best thing to do is leave the car parked in any of its public parking or away from the downtown area.


Hotels, motels and where to sleep



Restaurant, taverns and where to eat



Cultural (and not so cultural) events



Interesting information and useful tips






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