Exploring Salamanca…

Over the past few days, I’ve had the opportunity to explore Salamanca–A city rich in history and culture…I thought I might share some of the interesting places I’ve been to so far…

La Plaza Mayor:

Constructed from 1729-1755 and often considered the most beautiful plaza in all of Europe, La Plaza Mayor was made out of piedra de Villamayor, a type of stone that glows a golden color when the sun’s rays hit it–and this is why Salamanca is often called La Ciudad Dorada (The Golden City)…On it columns one can see various portraits of important figures from Spain’s history–royalty, war heroes, musicians, philosphers, writers (you get the point)…

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La Plaza by day…

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…and by night…

Then there’s El Palacio de la Salina (lit. “The palace of the salt mine”)…It was commissioned in the 16th century by a wealthy nobleman who wanted something grand that would both elevate his name and give Salamanca a palace like those found in Italy or elsewhere in Europe…The reason it’s called El Palacio de la Salina is because it also served as a place where salt was stored–And you know back in those times, salt was extremely important in the preservation of food…

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The courtyard…

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Close up of detail…

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The outside gates…Except for the one of Cleopatra (the woman holding the snake), no one really knows who the portraits of the other people depict…

And then of course, there’s La Casa de las Conchas (“The House of Shells”)…Completed in the early 16th century, it was created to celebrate the union of the Maldonado and Pimentel families via marriage…The facade is covered with over 300 shells–one of the heraldic symbols of one of the families–and various images that celebrate marital love…

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