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Visit Salamanca - Ancient University City
This ancient university city is one of the most beautiful of Europe. Its fame began in the early 1200's when Alfonso IX founded a university here. Today it is a well-preserved city with many colleges. One will find turreted palaces, faded convents, and Romanesque churches. And many great men have crossed the ancient Roman bridge that spans the Tormes.

The University: This is the oldest university and was once the greatest in Europe. In front of the main building a statue honors a Hebrew scholar who is connected with the university's best-known legend. Once arrested on suspicion of being a heretic, he was away for five years before he was cleared. Upon his return, he began his first lecture with "As I was saying yesterday..." Inside this old building you can visit the 16th century classroom, cluttered with crude wooden benches. Light is practically nowhere to be seen. The remains of that Jewish scholar are kept in the chapel. The library is upstairs. (9:30-1:30, 4-7)

The Catedral Nueva: The origins of this "new" cathedral go back to 1513. It took so long to build a cathedral in those days that the structure represents many styles, but roughly it could be classified as late Gothic. The building has a beautiful facade - gold on beige sandstone. It has elegant chapels, and the best decorated dome in Spain. The stained glass is severely damaged. (10-1,3:30-6:30)

Catedral Vieja: This older cathedral adjoins the "new" one. It was begun in the 12th century. Its simplicity is in dramatic contrast to the newer one. In style it is a Spanish version of Romanesque. See the huge stone that once fell on a worker's head, but didn't kill him. A miracle! The chapels are of interest.

Casa de las Conchas: This restored 15th century House of Shells was built by a doctor. The focal point is its facade of simulated scallop shells.

Museo Provincial de Bellas Artes: Built in the 15th century by the physician to Queen Isabella. It is one of the most representative examples of the Spanish Plateresque style of architecture. Paintings and sculptures here range from the 15th - 20th centuries. (9:30-2. Su 11).

Convent of San Esteban: This edifice competes with the new cathedral in magnificence - notable in its golden-brown Plateresque facade. Built in the 16th century. The six-columned and garlanded high altar is one of the cities greatest treasures.

Las Duenas Convento: Only the cloisters, dating from the 16th century are open. You have to climb to the upper gallery for an inspection of the carved capitals.

Plaza Mayor: This square is widely acclaimed as the most beautiful in all of Spain. It represents 18th century Spanish Baroque style. Walk thru the arcaded shops.
About the Author
Author of this article is Gene Gill. For more information visit his website: Gene Gill Miniatures.
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