Sunday, April 28, 2013


We skipped Salamanca in 2010--the winter weather was closing in--and our visit this year was attentuated. It was Castillla y Leon Day and, again, the buses were operating on a severely reduced schedule. (We stayed at Camping Don Quijote). But we saw the main bits, the Plaza Mayor, the cathedral, and the university area. Plus, next post, Salamanca's extraordinary Museo Art Nouveau y Art Deco.
In Salamanca, you actually get two cathedrals, the old and
the new; this is the new, which was built originally to keep
the old one from falling down

Choir of the new cathedral; turns out the old cathedral was
 closed since it was C y L Day

Nave ceiling from choir; very different
vaulting; well, ornamentation...

Crossing, rotunda, way up there

Outside, starboard side, where the two cathedrals meet

We gave the cathedral(s) short shrift so as to get here well
before its 2PM closing: the Museum of Art Nouveau and
Art Deco (next post)

Salamanca's Roman bridge; long, but no truck traffic

And now we are in the university district (it's all one piece
really); a dorm

In the U's main quad; in the olden days, successful doctoral
candidates' names were painted on the buildings in the blood
of a bull "sacrificed" on the occasion; as a graduate student
I often thought it would be my own blood...enlarge to read
some of the names

Entrance to Old Main; among the many
reliefs, in addition to Ferdinand and Isabel,
there is one of a frog; if you can find the
frog on your first try, success will be yours
at the University; I couldn't and so am
consigned to a continuing lifetime of
nightmares about graduate school...

Casa de las Conchas, a Salamanca landmark

Salamanca abbey church, whose monks apparently helped
convince F y I to fund Columbus' voyage; or maybe not

Tower on old city wall; just about all of
Salamanca is built of this beautiful light
sandstone, much of it beautifully carved;
apparently there is little rain or erosion;
the bull's blood signatures have become
the town's official font and graphic design
and are quite attractive and distinctive

Salamanca's real pride, justifiably, is its Plaza Mayor; every
city in Spain has one of these; most are boring or seedy;
this one is beautiful and lively, with real people; another
city living room; we spent a couple pleasant hours there,
just watching from a cafe (we'd missed the bus)

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