18.03.2011 - 18.03.2011 24 °C
• Plaza Mayor
• Catedral Nueva (New Cathedral), Catedral Vieja (Old Cathedral)
• University of Salamanca—Escuela Mayores, Escuela Menores
• Pontifical University of Salamanca
• Casa de las Conchas
Our cultural trip started last Friday, we are going to 9 cities in 8 days.
The moment we arrived in Salamanca, all my worries disappeared. I think this whole trip means more for me than for anybody else. Sonia said trip has to be perfect, so it can cover the mess I got from my last trip. Yes, that’s true but the other reason that it means more is that I’m actually taking an art class right now and what the professor has talked about in class is the stuff that I’m going to see. How exciting it is!!!
We had some free time before the actual tour and a couple of us wandered around together. Well, on the way of the wandering, we found this shop that sells different kinds of dresses. So...... yeah, I bought a dress. We also wandered to a Roman bridge. Anyway, our tour started around 2pm in Plaza Mayor. Salamanca’s Plaza Mayor was constructed between 1729 and 1755 (Baroque style), it’s considered among the most beautiful plazas in all of Spain. It’s very big, and that’s where most people hang out. We saw students studying, eating, chatting or just enjoying the sun there. The weather in Salamanca was very nice, very sunny. After Plaza Mayor were the New Cathedral and the Old Cathedral. The New Cathedral is together with the Old Cathedral, it was constructed between the 16th and 18th centuries in two styles: late Gothic and Baroque. The Old was founded in the 12th century and completed in Romanesque/Gothic style in the 14th century. One of the characteristics of Baroque style is that there are a lot of decorations on the façade. There is a fun fact of the façade of the New Cathedral, the material of the façade has iron ion in it so it changed to red after hundreds of years. A couple of years of ago, people redid part of the façade but in order to distinguish the year of it’s made (because after a long time, it’ll turn red again), guess what they put on the façade???? An astronaut!!! The New Cathedral is the only cathedral that has an astronaut!! Also there is a lion that is eating ice-cream, how interesting it is!!
the New Church
The astronaut and lion
Then we went to see University of Salamanca, it is the forth-oldest European university in continuous operations. Everyone goes there to see the façade of Escuela Mayores. Do you guys know about the skull with the frog on?? My art professor has talked about it. It’s really hard to find it since the façade has tons of decorations. Well, I turned out to be the first one of my group to find out where the skull is!!!! They said people who find it would have good luck especially for students. The meaning of the skull and the frog is that back in the years the frog means lust, the skull means death; so for students if they have lust they will end up with death (the students back then were all males). I really really like University of Salamanca; maybe someday I’ll study there. There is also another university in Salamanca—Pontifical University of Salamanca, it’s found pretty late around 1940. It is also right next to Casa de las Conchas, in Spanish casa means house; concha means shell. It’s built from 1493 to 1517, mixing late Gothic and Plateresque style, decorated with more than 300 shells, symbols of the order of Santiago. It currently houses a public library.
the skull and the frog
Casa de las Conchas
I learned so much and there is so much to say. I enjoyed the sun a lot, I wish that someday I could lie down in Plaza Mayor and enjoy the nature or just do some homework. At the end of the tour, I told my friends that if I want to pursue a master degree in Spanish I would definitely come to University of Salamanca!!