There is a frog that needs to be found. An astronaut carved into the cathedral. Tapas that you have to eat. Unmissable itinerary through the lands of Salamanca.
Shortly after leaving Portugal across the border of Vilar Formosoand after passing the also very recommendable Ciudad Rodrigo, you can see the majestic cathedral of Salamanca🇧🇷 In the heart of old Castile, lives a university city, young and beautiful.
Its multiple attractions make this a destination worth visiting for several reasons. One of them is its magnificent historic centre, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Salamanca: 7 reasons not to miss it
This is one of the most beautiful squares in Spain. It was built in Baroque style, according to a project by Alberto Churriguera. On the north side, there is the Town Hall building, also baroque, with 5 granite arches and 4 allegorical figures. In its decoration, the medallions stand out, with the figures of Carlos I, Alfonso XI, Fernando VI, Cervantes and Santa Teresa.
The facades of the buildings are organized on three floors supported by an arcade and topped by a balustrade. This is one of the liveliest and busiest places in all of Salamanca.
The University of Salamanca was founded in 1218, becoming known internationally for its pedagogical and cultural prestige.
This building has a square plan, with a central patio and surrounding galleries.
One of its main points of interest is the plateresque façade. The Minor Schools, attached to the University, have artistic similarities, in terms of style, even having a ceiling painted by Fernando Gállego.
The Cathedral of Salamanca concerns a complex of two temples joined together. On one side, there is the Old Cathedral (12th-13th centuries) and on the other, the New one (16th century).
The Old Cathedral is in Romanesque style and the Torre del Gallo stands out. Inside this temple, there is the chapel of San Martín del Aceite. Its main altarpiece was created by several painters, led by Dello Delli. The mural that covers the vault is the responsibility of Nicolás Florentino. Another attraction are the beautiful tombs of bishops and noble figures.
In the New Cathedral, there is an image of the Virgin of the Assumption (1626), sculpted by Esteban Rueda. Joaquín Churriguera also worked here in 1727.
Casa das Conchas was built in Gothic style. Its construction began and ended in the 15th century, so it already has some Renaissance and Mudejar elements, as traces of Elizabethan art.
This civil building immediately attracts attention due to the more than 300 shells that line its outer walls. In the 18th century, this construction underwent a remodeling.
Its entrance door should be highlighted, with a Gothic coat of arms at the top, which displays fleurs-de-lys. Here, the Public Library of Salamanca and an information point are currently operating.
Las Batuecas Natural Park
In addition to its cultural and historical heritage, Salamanca also has a lot of nature, such as Las Batuecas Natural Park.
You can visit it for a relaxed and relaxing walk or follow four routes, whose routes are punctuated with works of art that enrich and enliven the path (Camiño del Agua; Camiño de las Raices; Camino Asentadero-Bosque de los Espejos; Camiño de los Prodigios).
And because it’s not just art and nature that man lives, Salamanca’s gastronomy also deserves to be praised here. Tapas are one of its snacks, par excellence, which not only allow you to taste various delicacies, but also to share them, something that is part of the local culture.
The city center is a good place to try these dishes, as the bars and taverns of the Plaza Mayor offer several proposals in this regard. Places like Cervantes, Novelty, Bambú or Don Mauro are very popular and sought after to taste the best tapas.
As it is easy to see when walking through the streets of the historic center of Salamanca, frogs are almost ubiquitous. Well then, legend says that freshman students in the city, to be successful in their studies, must find the frog that is on the university’s facade. It is said that it is not difficult, but it is always a good exercise in observation, especially for the younger ones.
How to go to Salamanca?
If you want to go to Salamanca by car, take the A-62 and you will reach your destination in a few hours.
In the vicinity of the city, there are 3 airports at your disposal.
- Salamanca Airport: 15 km from Salamanca;
- Valladolid Airport: less than 1h30 away;
- Barajas Airport in Madrid.
In either case, the suggestion is that, upon arrival, you rent a car or make use of the public transport network available.