Salamanca Monuments and Culture

The entry point into the city and a testimony to the many centuries of history of Salamanca is the Roman bridge. Attributed to Trajan in the first century, the bridge is part of the Silver Route and is one of the most admired and photographed in the city.

A good way of getting to know Salamanca and its monuments is by visiting the cities cathedrals- the new and the old. If there is one thing that stands out from the new cathedral it’s the Ramos Gate. It was rebuilt in 1992, and although the gate still conserves its Plateresque style, there have been some modern changes like the astronaut and an ice-cream eating monkey.

The decision to build the cathedral was taken in the fifteenth century as Salamanca was experiencing a rapid growth in population, with almost 16,000 inhabitants. The new cathedral became the tallest, brightest and most beautiful of all of the cathedrals.

Access to the old cathedral is via the new cathedral. Before reaching the old cathedral there is a gothic retable with 53 paintings which tell the story of the life of the Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ.

A visit to the stunning cloister, home to the Santa Barbara chapel is also a must. The chapel was where the decision to appoint the new rector was taken and it’s also where the students studied for their university exams.

We cannot conclude our visit without climbing up the Cathedral’s tower. The Ieronimus grants us an opportunity to walk across the highest point of the two cathedrals and to obtain wonderful views of the la torre del gallo and the city below.

In addition to offering a look back at Spanish history, the Spanish Civil War Archive houses a curious room where the former Head of

State General Francisco Franco kept all of the objects and treasures confiscated from the masons. The Archive therefore offers an excellent insight into masonry.

Nearby lies Casa Lis, a small palace which is home to the best collection of decorative art Nouveau and Art Deco in all of Spain.

The Garden of Calisto and Melibea is an ideal place to unwind. This garden with its Islamic influences was the inspiration behind Francisco Rojas’ popular book: La Celestina or ‘Tragicomedy of Calisto and Melibea’.

Next we visit the Commerce Museum which offers visitors a unique view on the history of Salamanca. The museum is often visited by locals looking to find out more about their past and heritage, and also by tourists looking to lean more about the history of Salamanca.

Here the visitor can gather knowledge of the history of trade and commerce of this wonderful city.

And least not forget the Convent of St. Stephen (St.Esteban), a religious complex which will captivate all visitors. The Convent has witnessed key moments in history, as between its four walls the Catholic Monarchs interviewed Christopher Columbus before his discovery of the New World, and the start of one of the most important chapters of Spanish history, that of the Spanish conquistadores.