Monday, 21 October 2013

Castilla y León – Salamanca II.

On the right of the square are the city’s two cathedrals, the New Cathedral and the Old Cathedral. The difference between the two is only one century so actually they are both pretty old in my view. The Old one has Romanesque style while the New one… they couldn’t quite decide so they pushed a bit of Gothic, a bit of Renaissance and a bit of Baroque into it. It took them three centuries to finish it. The result is absolutely stunning, very ornate and detailed from the outside while the inside is more simple and Gothic.

La Universidad de Salamanca
Only a short walk away from the Cathedrals are the buildings of the University, the Escuelas Mayor and Menor. It was founded by King Alfonzo IX de León in 1218 and became one of the biggest learning centres in Europe in the 15th and 16th centuries. The baroque façade is simply gorgeous, full of detail. 

According to tradition the students who want to pass their exams have to come here and find a little frog amongst the decoration. Can you find it?

Even though I didn’t go inside as I found the 10 euro entry fee a bit expensive, if you have a chance you should go. Apparently it has a great collection of ‘vitores’. These are wall paintings that were originally painted with bull’s blood and symbolise the victory of graduating students over books.

Ieronimus exhibition
I have listened to the suggestions and actually went inside the Torre Mocha for a 3.75 euro entry fee. Inside the tower there are exhibitions where you can learn about the tower’s 900 years of history. Atop the tower there’s a platform that allows you to see the spires of the two cathedrals, the city and the River Tormes.

The route continued and led to a platform that allowed a visit inside the New Cathedral.

From here the route lead to a terrace that is located over the main façade of the New Cathedral. The views were spectacular over the old town of Salamanca.

With this my tour has ended in this lovely town.

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