Salamanca Free Walking Tour + Monument & Sights Guide
Salamanca‘s old town, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage city in 1988, is relatively compact and can be visited on foot. Framed by Paseo San Vicente to the west, Av Mirat to the north, Paseo Canalejas to the east and the Tormes River to the south, most of the city’s monuments and attractions are contained within. The centre of the old town is the breathtaking Plaza Mayor, to the west is the Campo San Francisco the city’s first public gardens and to the south the world famous university and cathedrals. Estación de Salamanca the city’s train station is located north east of the old town along Paseo Estación and the bus station, Estación de autobuses de Salamanca, is north west of the old town on Av Filiberto Villalobos. Most of the Salamanca’s suburbs are north of the old town and there is a large city park, Parque de los Jesuitas, to the east.
Salamanca Free Walking Tour
Monument & Sights Guide
What is it? 18th century Baroque public square
Where is it? The very heart of Salamanca
Information: Built in the 18th century, this breathtaking Baroque square is famed as one of the most beautiful in Spain and it isn’t hard to see why. It is a popular place for locals and tourists alike to gather and now is lined with a variety of bars, restaurants, ice cream parlours and tourist shops. It is also home to the Tourist Information Centre (E-mail: información@turismodesalamanca.com, Mon – Fri: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. & 4 p.m. – 6.30 p.m. Sat: 10 a.m. – 6.30 p.m. Sun: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.)
Palacio de Monterrey
Monument Type: Historical Building
Address: Plaza de Monterrey, 2
Opening Times: –
Information: Palacio de Monterrey, was constructed as a 16th-century holiday home ofor the Duques de Alba and is a seminal piece of Spanish Renaissance architecture. Inside there is a treasure chest of important artworks but unfortunately it is not open to the public. The façade, which is of course free to visit is, however, is superb.
Colegio Mayor de Santiago el Zebedeo
(Archbishop Fonseca College)
Monument Type: College
Address: Plaza de Fonseca, 4
Opening Times: 10 a.m. – 1.30 p.m. & 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Price: General Admission: 2 € Students, Pensioners, Groups: 1 € with University ticket: Free Monday: Free
Information: The college was founded in 1519 by the Archbishop of Santiago de Compostela and is also known as the ‘Irish College’ due to the amount of Catholic emigrates from the country that were educated there. Today the building is used as a postgraduate halls and cultural exhibition venue.
Casa de las Conchas
(House of the Shells)
Monument Type: Historic Building
Address: Calle Compañía, 2
Opening Times: Mon – Fri: 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. Sat: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. & 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. Sun: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. & 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Information: The unmistakable Casa de las Conchas was built in the late 15th century and its façade is covered in shells, symbolising the owner’s position as a Knight of the Order of Saint James. The entrance portal displays Maldonado family coat of arms, while in the architrave are dolphins, a Renaissance symbol of love. The inner court is characterized, on the lower level, by arches supported by square pilasters, while on the upper they are supported by shorter Carrara marble columns. Today, the building houses a public library.
Palacio de Anaya
Monument Type: Historical Building
Address: Plaza de anaya s/n
Opening Times: Mon – Fri: 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Information: The Palacio de Anaya was once used as a hall of residence but is now the Faculty of Languages and is one of the few buildings in Salamanca built in the neoclassical style. Construction of the building began in 1760, replacing an earlier structure damaged during the Lisbon earthquake. Currently it is home to the Philology Faculty of the University of Salamanca.
Nueva Catedral & Vieja Catedral
(New & Old Cathedrals)
Monument Type: Cathedral
Address: Calle Cardenal Pla y Daniel, s/n,
Websites: http://www.catedralsalamanca.org/, http://www.ieronimus.es/
Opening Times: New Cathedral: Apr – Sept: 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. Oct – Mar: Mon – Sat: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. & 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. Sun: Closed, Old Cathedral: Apr – Sept: 10 a.m. – 7.30 p.m. Oct – Mar: Mon – Sat: 10 a.m. – 12.30 p.m., 4 p.m. – 5.30 p.m. Sun: Closed, IERONIMUS exhibition: Jan – Feb: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Mar – Dec: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Price: New Cathedral: Free, Old Cathedral: Standard Ticket: 4. 75 €, Pensioners & Students: 4 € Tues: 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.: Free, IERONIMUS exhibition: 3.75 €
Information: The New Cathedral, on which construction began in the late 15th century and continued for two centuries, is a mix of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture. Notable features include the Puerta de Ramos the ornately decorated former royal entrance, the plateresque organ built in 1568 and the stunning Chapel of Saint Roque, Chapel of the Viel and the Golden Chapel.
The Old Cathedral, which must be accessed through the New Cathedral, was completed in the 14th century in the Romanesque style. The dome of the Old Cathedral is commonly referred to “Torre del Gallo” (Cockerel Tower) due to the prominent weather vane on top.
Make sure you don’t miss the chance to climb the cathedral’s medieval towers. The IERONIMUS exhibition gives you the opportunity to walk around the battlements and upper balconies of the New Cathedral as well as offering gorgeous views across the city. Entrance is obtained via the Tower Gate on Plaza. Juan XXIII.
Museo Art Nouveau y Art Déco (Casa Lis)
(Museum of Art Nouveau and Art Deco)
Monument Type: Art Gallery
Address: C/ Gibraltar, 14 / 923
Opening Times: Tues – Fri: 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. & 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. Sat & Sun: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Price: General Admission: 4 € Pensioners, Students, Groups +10: 2 €
Tues: 11: a.m. – 2 p.m.: Free
Information: One of the more off-beat museums the city has to offer. The Museum of Art Nouveau and Art Deco houses a varied and playful collection of sculptures and paintings housed in a stunning, light-filled Modernista (Catalan art nouveau) house. There’s abundant stained glass, Beatrix Potter bronzes, 19th-century children’s dolls and a lot more besides.
Universidad de Salamanca
Monument Type: University
Address: Calle de los Libreros
Opening Times: Mon – Fri: 9:30 a.m. -1.30 p.m. & 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. Sat: 9:30 a.m. -1.30 p.m. & 4 p.m. – 6.30 p.m. Sun: 10 a.m. – 1.30 p.m.
Price: General Admission: 10 € Pensioners, Students, Groups +20: 5 € Monday morning: Free
(The ticket also allows access to E dificio de Escuelas Mayores, Colegio Arzobispo Fonseca and VII Centenary Exhibition)
Information: Founded as a place of study in 1218, the university is one of the oldest centres of learning in Europe, reaching a zenith in the golden ages of the 15th and 16th centuries. The highlight of the whole building is the riotous entrance façade. It is a wonderful sandstone blur, bursting with images of mythical heroes, religious scenes and coats of arms with busts of Fernando and Isabel surveying the whole scene. Tradition dictates that students wishing to pass exams must find the frog carved into the relief but it isn’t so easy to spot, so be prepared to spend some time looking and remember, be patient!
Convento de San Esteban
(Convent of St. Stephen)
Monument Type: Convent
Address: Plaza del Concilio de Trento, s/n
Opening Times: 10 a.m. – 1.30 p.m. (last entrance) & 4 p.m. – 7.15 p.m. (last entrance),
Price: General Admission: 2 € Pensioners, Students, Groups +20: 2 €
Information: Construction began on the convent in the late 16th century and particularly noteworthy features are plateresque carved façade as well as the sumptuously decorated altarpiece, cloister and Soto stairwell. The convent was also the place where Columbus secured the backing of the influential Dominicans in his attempt to find a new way to India.
written by: Jon