Top 10 Things to do in Salamanca Spain- Best Free Travel Guide

Salamanca is a city in the western Spain and is located by a riverside. There are many things to do in Salamanca Spain as there are many historical things.

It is known to be the autonomous community of Castile and Leon. The town lies on the hill side as well the riverside. The old part of the town was declared as the UNESCO World Heritage Site in the year 1988. There are important historical landmarks in the city such as the university, palaces and the churches.

The town is located over an altitude of 800 metres and has a Mediterranean climate as the town is warm. The town does not have a wet climate and experiences winters with rainfalls. Despite this there are many Things to do in Salamanca Spain.

Things to do in Salamanca
Photo by Afonso Barroso: Top things to do in Salamanca Spain

Top Things to do in Salamanca Spain

Salamanca is a fascinating city in Spain and is known for the ornate sandstone architecture and the university of Salamanca is a historical place in the town. The town is located in the North-western Spain and is two hours from Madrid and two hours east of the Portugal border. The town is listed as the UNESCO World Heritage City and has evidences of the Roman (pre-ancient times) period architecture. There are many fun things to do in Salamanca Spain and this article will list all these places for your trip!

Things to do in Salamanca Spain
Photo by Afonso Barroso: Top things to in Salamanca Spain

Old Cathedral

The cathedral was erected between 1100s and 1200s. This has combination of romanesque and gothic styles of architecture which was built in the 14th century.

The building consists of the apse houses which consists of 53 tableaux and 12 of these figures were designed by the Italian artist Dello Delli. These figures depicts the life of Jesus and Virgin Mary.

The tower has beautiful Romanesque windows, arches, ornamentation, four turrets and a Byzantine style dome. The dome were supported on a large drum with columns and windows. The exterior can be seen from the Patio Chico.

The elements of the cathedrals were styled in the French-Gothic and Byzantine architecture styles. The architecture consists of nave, two aisles, three semi-circular apses, cross vaulting and the dome. There are 53 panels framed by arches.

Top things to do in Salamanca Spain
Photo by Mehmet Turgut Kirkgoz : Things to do in Salamanca Spain

New Cathedral

New Cathedral is a building attached to the old cathedral. The cathedral was completed in the year 1700 and displays a mix of architecture styles.

The building was built in the time when the Baroque style of architecture became popular. The authorities wanted the building to be in sync with the old part of the cathedral. The Cathedral of Salamanca is considered to be the last buildings of the gothic examples in Europe. The facade showed the transition to the Renaissance style and has great detail carved in it.

The dome of the new cathedral is an impressive highlight of the cathedral. The dome has eight large windows and provide special lighting. The tower of the new cathedral is the highly impressive in the present day as well. This cathedral suffered from an earthquake and the tower was highly impacted. The tower was reinforced instead of demolishing it.

Things to do in Salamanca Spain
Photo by Juankokeman: Top Things to do in Salamanca Spain

House of Shells

House of shells is a city library and is known to display the Gothic style of architecture and Spanish plateresque style. The plateresque style was an artistic movement developed in Spain and its territories which was seen as a transition of Gothic and early Renaissance.

Plateresque buildings have an extremely decorated facade which resemble silverware with nods to Moorish, Lombard and Florentine styles. The House of Shells have outer walls which are mounted with scallop shells and has a unique facade.

The interior of the building is beautiful as there is a courtyard building and on the second floor the wooden ceilings are covered with hexagonal motifs.

Old town

The town of Salamanca has one of the prime tourist spots known as the Old Town of Salamanca. The ancient university or the University of Salamanca is located on the north western side of Madrid and was conquered by the Carthaginians in the 3rd Century BC.

The Old town became a settlement of the Romans before it was ruled by the Moors in the 11th century. Thus, the architecture styles of the town is a mixture of all the three rulers. The historic centre of the city has the important monuments and architecture styles that are seen in the city such as the Romanesque, Gothic, Moorish, Renaissance and Baroque monuments.

The Plaza Mayor has primary galleries and arcades. The Roman bridge that spans the Rive Tormes in the southwestern portion of the city is 2000 years old. The palaces, places and other remarkable group of buildings are located in this town. The architecture styles of the building are Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles which span over the 15th to 18th centuries.

Top things to do in Salamanca Spain
Photo by Sergio Otoya on Unsplash : Things to do in Salamanca Spain

University of Salamanca

Established in the year 1134, the University of Salamanca is the oldest university in Spain and is the fourth oldest in Europe. The university is one of the most prestigious universities in the country and attracts many students who want to learn Spanish.

The University is the oldest building in the square Patio de las Escuelas and has many plateresque designs. The main facade of the building has a frog sitting on a skull sculpture which is difficult to find. It is considered good luck if you’re able to spot the sculpture without help.

Plaza Mayor

Located in the old city, the Plaza Mayor is one of the places mentioned in the UNESCO world heritage sites. The square was built in the mid-18th century and displays baroque style of architecture around it.

On the ground level one can witness 88 arches which are a part of the arcade that runs around the perimeter of he square and is broken up only by entrances. Each pillar has a medallion which portrays the famous figure from the prestigious history of Salamanca.

There are a total of 247 balconies in the houses of the square. An interesting fact of the square is that it is not really a square as all four sides have different lengths.

Top things to do in Salamanca Spain
Photo by Beth Macdonald on Unsplash: Things to do in Salamanca Spain

Casa Lis

Casa Lis is a museum which is located in the old part of the Salamanca city. The museum is also known as the Museo Art Nouveau and Art Deco. The museum consists of he decorative arts and the exhibits date back to the 19th century.

The museum was an old mansion and was built by the first owner and designed by the Architect Jerez de la Frontera. The design was a modernist style. The museum is located along the riverside and one can see the beautiful nouveau iron and glass facade which has a stained glass window. The interior of the museum covers designs of the early 20th century and artworks of the famous art periods which are glassware, bronze and figurines.

Things to do in Salamanca Spain
Photo by Leosprspctive on Unsplash: Top things to do in Salamanca Spain

Palacio de la Salina

The beautiful palace was designed by Gil de Hontanon. The palace was designed in the Renaissance style of architecture and the name of the palace means saltworks. The Palace was named such as the building was used to store salt. The site has an irregular shaped courtyard which is decorated with figures of twisted bodies. The palace currently houses the offices of the Salamanca Provincial Government.

The building also has Platersque style with Italian elements which ae built in 1538. The facade has a patio with arches, capitals and corbels. The plan of the building proposed the open to the street design which suggested the building was open to public and was not designed for the purpose of residence.

St. Stephen’s Convent

A Dominican monastery is situated in the Plaza del Concilio de Trento. The facade of the church is adjacent to the monastery portico. The front facade is an example of the Plateresque style of architecture as an external reredos. The triumphal arch is placed in the front which opens up into the barrel vault and there is high detailing in this vault.

The church is a Latin cross plan and has a single nave with a space for choir above the segmented arch at the foot of the church. The architecture styles found in the building is late gothic style in the lower half of the building and Renaissance in the dome section. The church measures 14.5 metres wide by 27 metres high in the nave and 44 metres high at the dome.

The lower levels of the cloister displays a blend of Gothic and Renaissance style of architecture and consists of a garden which is in a semi-circular shape and is divided by three mullions. The vaults of the four bays are filled with Gothic architecture features.

La Clerceia

This beautiful church has three parts and the beautiful city is visible from the top of towers. The church was built in baroque style of architecture. The building was built in the early 1700s and was built under the supervision of King Philip III’s wife, Margarita of Austria.

The interior tours are available in the form of guided tours and the building has been in possession of the Pontifical University since 1940s.

That was our post about top things to do in Salamanca Spain, If you are planning your trip and you have something else in mind which you wish to cover in Salamanca then share with us as well.

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