The Salamanca University Quarter
The most monument-laden part of town, full of centuries of history and great prestige. This will be where you take all your pictures and are amongst most of the other tourists. A natural place to start your tour is Salamanca University- the source of Salamanca’s academic prestige. The golden, sandstone façade features a comprehensive expression of Plateresque architecture- lose yourself amongst the tapestry of carvings: medallions, heraldic emblems, floral motifs, mythical heroes, religious scenes… there’s so much to see! The Salamanca University also has a historically and culturally significant inside too. This includes lecture rooms that retain furniture from the days of the Spanish inquisition. Bet you didn’t expect that! The Salamanca University library boasts thousands of antique books and huge globes of the world. Close by to the Salamanca University, you’ll find the cathedral complex made up of the Catedral Nueva (New Cathedral) and the adjoining Catedral Vieja (Old Cathedral). The architecture ranges from Renaissance to Gothic to late Baroque. Be sure to pay attention to the decoration surrounding the massive doors on the Catedral Nueva; every sculptor that comes to restore and upkeep the artwork can add a personal touch. If you look you can find an astronaut and an ice cream cone amongst the otherwise Renaissance and Baroque carvings! Catedral Vieja boasts a huge 53-painting altarpiece from the 15th century and also Europe’s oldest organ. The organ is housed in the Capilla del Obispo Diego de Anaya (Chapel of Bishop Diego de Anaya) and is famed for its intricate Moorish-inspired elements. However the Catedral Vieja’s most well-known feature is its “media naranja” (half orange) dome, called the Torre de Gallo (cock tower) because of the rooster-shaped weathervane perched upon it.