Salamanca

In 2005 I spent a whole summer in Spain doing a language course. I liked Central Spain so much that I decided to come back again 2 years later for my Erasmus term.

The first time, I lived in Salamanca. It’s in the county of Castilla y León close to the Portuguese border. The perhaps most famous image of the city is this one:

It’s the townhouse of Salamanca on its Plaza Mayor – the main place. It’s the place where people meet to go for coffee, for business or just to walk around the Plaza and chat.

The city is one of the oldest in Spain and is home to one of the four oldest universities in Europe. The other are la Sorbonne in Paris, France, Università di Bologna, Italy and Oxford University in England. Everywhere  in the center you find ancient palaces, and narrow streets that keep you cool in summer, thanks to the wind blowing everywhere.

The house on the picture on the right is calles “Casa de las conchas” – House of Shells, because it is adored all over with small shells. It’s one of the oldest houses in Salamanca from the 15th century. It was originally built by a duke to please his future wife (at least this is told by the legends). Also its interior is luxuriously decorated.

Another highlight in Salamanca are the old and new Cathedral.

They were founded in the 12th and 15th century and due to their long building span offer a mix of different architectural styles.

Other famous sights are, of course, the university buildings with the frog on the skull. Whoever was able to find them on the university’s facade was intelligent enough to attend university – as another legend goes.

If you spent some time in the city you also shouldn’t miss the round church at the Puerta de Zamora and while you’re there enjoy some café con leche and churros (Churrería Chamorro).

Another sight worth visiting is the Roman bridge. I have a photo of this bridge in my header. You’ll have a great view of the city at any time of the day. Not far from this bridge is also the museum of contemporary art. I have not been in the museum, but just the building is worth a look. As is the whole city. You might just take a day (and night, because the city is marvellous when it’s dark) and stroll through the streets.

But even if you’re not interested in architecture, history and art, the city offers a variety of enterainment. The area around Calle van Dyck is great for eating tapas and you can find bars, cafés and clubs all over the city. All through the year the city is overflowing with young people, students from all over the world coming together to celebrate one big party…

So, if you’re already planning your stay at the city this might be a helpful address:http://www.aboutsalamanca.com/

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