Stroll through Salamanca’s Old City (a UNESCO World Heritage Site!), and you’ll get lost in the beauty of the aged architecture, like the Baroque styling of the Plaza Mayor in the heart of the city. Many people flock to this university town because Salamancans’ Spanish is one of the easiest to understand, making it easy for you to communicate and make new friends.
Nicknamed the “Oxford of the Spanish World,” Salamanca is home to Spain’s oldest and one of Europe’s oldest universities, la Universidad de Salamanca. The doors of the University first opened in 1218 and from that date forward, Salamanca has been home to students from all over Spain and the world.
The combination of a large, famous university and a small, hospitable town makes Salamanca the ideal city in which to live and to study the Spanish language and culture. This city of 180,000 inhabitants (of which 36,000 are students) also boasts the most beautiful and the most famous plaza in Spain. Salamanca’s Plaza Mayor is truly the heart of the vibrant city; it is the universal meeting place and will undoubtedly be ingrained in your memory for years to come as a hub of social activity both day and night, and a world-class site for people-watching. In the afternoon, the plaza walls are turned to gold with sunlight. At night the intricate carvings are illuminated with lights and the electric energy of the city’s nightlife.
Without a doubt, you will find a wide range of entertainment and cultural possibilities in Salamanca.
Constructed in the 18th century, the Plaza Mayor is the central meeting spot in Salamanca. Restaurants, shops, cafes, the Salamanca Town Hall, and clubs line the plaza and attract students and locals alike. Street entertainers captivate audiences. No matter what time of day it is, the Plaza Mayor is always alive with activity.
These two cathedrals stand right next to each other. The Catedral Nueva, or "new cathedral," is larger than the "old cathedral," and is one of the most beautiful Spanish gothic structures. The architects created the "Puerta de Ramos," the entrance for the common people, and a special entrance was for the Spanish king.
The Puente Romano, or "Roman Bridge," provides breathtaking views of Salamanca, and especially the Catedral Nueva and Catedral Vieja. Designed entirely in Roman architecture, the Puente Romano stands approximately 1200 feet above the land and Tormes River. The bridge was first built in the 1st century and later reconstructed in the 18th century."There are too many awesome landmarks to choose one as my favorite, but one of my favorites is the Puente Romano because it's an enduring landmark that is part of an important cultural aspect of the city." -Andrea L., Indiana University