Salamanca: different ways to learn about "the golden city"



Salamanca is one of Spain's most famous cities. And it deserves to be so. The Plaza Mayor square, both its cathedrals and the University are simply amazing. And because at dusk the sun bathes all its monuments in gold, Salamanca has been nicknamed "the Golden City". We would like to suggest several original ways of visiting Salamanca, so you can see places that have almost always been forbidden. These ideas are perfect for people who already know Salamanca, but also for people who have never been there before. We can guarantee you'll see the city in a new light.

Medieval Cathedral towers

It is one of the most spectacular places to visit in Salamanca. If you fancy seeing the exhibition called "Ieronimus", you can go round the inside of the cathedral's Medieval Towers and walk amongst pinnacles and gargoyles. Its terraces afford absolutely amazing views of the city. In fact, the 92-metre bell tower is the second tallest historic tower in Spain (after La Giralda). In summer there are visits by night called "While the Cathedral sleeps". More information:  

Scala Coeli, up La Clerecía building

We now move on a different set of towers – this time in La Clerecía building. Scala Coeli actually means "Stairway to heaven". The route includes access to balconies from which you can see the inside of the Real Clerecía de San Marcos building, and admire the high altar and its magnificent Baroque altarpiece. If you climb up the Bell Ringer's staircase in the towers, you will be able to enjoy a breathtaking view of Salamanca. More information:  

The small churches

Let's go back to the 12th century. During this period, farmers, traders and gendarmes began arriving in Salamanca and, together with the Moorish, Jewish and Muslim minorities, created a living space: the new city. To this date, there are still small churches from the period which were built in each neighbourhood for defence, prayer, celebration, etc. Today, many remain such as the Church of San Cristobal, which was created by the Knights of the Order of the Hospital of Jerusalem in 1145; the Church of San Benito, founded by Galician settlers; the Church of San Martin, whose bell announced markets, celebrations and bullfights, and others like the Church of San Juan Bautista de Barbalos and the Church of Santo Tomás Cantuariense. It is wonderful to visit these small stone churches and learn about the symbolism and mysteries of their design.  

A magical cave?

All cities have special places in which history and legend come together. This is the case in the old Church of San Ciprián, known as the Cave of Salamanca. Everything has been said about it: that it was founded by Hercules, that from there tunnels and labyrinths ran throughout the city, that it is linked to the Celts, that necromancy was practised there... Its mysteries struck a chord with figures like Cervantes and Walter Scott. If you come to the cave during the day you can visit the crypt of the Church of San Cebrián, where legend has it that there was once a school of occult science. And by night the tours are accompanied by light and sound. In summer, this magical cave holds chamber music concerts and plays.  

Half-open spaces

In Salamanca there are small secluded places that are incredibly beautiful. In these places, some of them built seven centuries ago, groups of women seek to communicate with God. Specifically, we can recommend visiting four of them: the Santa María de las Dueñas Convent (don't miss its beautiful cloister), the House of Santa Teresa de Jesús (Santa Teresa lived here for four years where she was inspired to write "Leave Nothing of Myself in Me"), the Santa Clara Convent (cloistered nuns continue to live there) and the Úrsulas Convent (with a museum featuring the coffered ceiling).  

A walk through the historic trades

You can follow a walking route to see the most traditional historic trades of Salamanca. This route includes various stops including the Abastos Central Market, a candy store that has been around for over 100 years in the plaza Mayor and one of the oldest chemists in Salamanca. You will see wooden counters, tile floors, bronze balustrades ... it's like going back in time. Just request information at any of the city's tourist information offices.  And to complete the route you should plan a visit to the Trade Museum, on the Avenida de Campoamor.

Urban gallery Art on the street

We recommend visiting Salamanca's Barrio del Oeste, an extension of the centre, to enjoy an art gallery right on the street. There you will find an interesting collection of works by young urban artists, both recognised and unknown, in several areas of the neighbourhood. Its central point is in the Plaza del Oeste. On this website you can find a map featuring the main pieces.





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