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Salamanca is one of the most exciting cities in Spain. It is not large, modern and industrial, but the opposite - Salamanca is the cultural face of the country. Reminiscent of a medieval royal complex, Salamanca is woven from historical and architectural masterpieces, as well as an university center, led by the local University, one of the oldest in Europe. Because of it, Salamanca is the largest university city in Spain.

This remarkable historical town is located in the western part of the country and is the capital of the province of Salamanca in the autonomous region of Castile and Leon. Located about 80 km east from the border of Spain and Portugal, about 200 km west of the capital Madrid, with a population of suburbs with about 200 000 people, Salamanca is the second most densely populated area in the autonomous region, after Valladolid.

Since 1988, the Old City of Salamanca is included in the list of World Heritage sites by UNESCO. Because of its incredible cultural and historical wealth and resources, Salamanca was named European City of Culture for 2002 along with Bruges. Since 1996 this town stores the archives of the Spanish Civil War.

The history of the town began as a small fortified settlement, which keeps the territories of the Celtic tribe of Vacceos. After the Romans conquered the Iberian Peninsula, or Helmantika Salamanca, as it was known then, the city gradually became an important commercial center. In 712, the village was conquered by the Moors and stayed under their control until the 11th century.

A key moment in the history of Salamanca was the founding of the University of Salamanca in 1218, it quickly became one of Europe's most prestigious academic centers, the largest in the territory of Spain and the third oldest on the continent at present. Figures such as Miguel de Cervantes, Christopher Columbus remain forever associated with the University of Salamanca.

Castle in Salamanca

The unique atmosphere of the town comes from the historical buildings, most of which were built in the Renaissance from a specific Villamayor Stone, derived from nearby village Vilamayor. Its characteristic golden colour gives the city a unique charm and earned it the nickname "Golden City". The central area and the historic center of Salamanca are filled with monuments in Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque style.

Sightseeing tour of Salamanca will dissolve all your senses, because the city is like a huge open-air museum. Salamanca has distinctive buildings in architectural style of the 15, 16 and 17 century. Plateresque style is a branch of Renaissance architecture and Churrigueresque - the baroque. It is better to walk in Salamanca Square, to see the magnificent Plaza Mayor, which is considered the most beautiful and elegant town square in Spain. Sit in one of the cafes here and just watch everything that surrounds you, you must see the square at night.

Near the central square is the Central Market of Salamanca is the historic market square. You must look at the old Romanesque cathedral, from the 12th century, in whose architecture you can feel the references to the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. Do not miss the second cathedral of Salamanca – the New Cathedral, built between the 16th and 18th centuries in Gothic and Baroque style.

Other interesting buildings are the House of Shells, Monterrey Palace, Augustinian monastery, the old Roman bridge from the 1st century BC, the White Chapel of the Cross, the Dominican Monastery of St. Stephen, the monastery 'Duen , Annunciation Monastery, Gothic palace from the late 15th century Casa de la Conchas and Gothic noble residence House of doña María la Brava.

Other beautiful palaces in Salamnka are the Palacio de Orellana, Palacio de la Salina, and the Anaya Tower. Do not miss a tour of the complex La Clerecía with its monastery and church, the Art Nouveau and Art Decó Museum Casa Lis, and the old prison that has become a modern center of contemporary art.

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