Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Salamanca Rest Day - Day 17 - May 1, 2012

We spent the day sightseeing in Salamanca. It is a really neat city of nearly 200,000 people, Over 30,000 of which are students. The city contains the oldest University in Spain and the 3rd oldest in western Europe. The old part of the city is spectacular, with several Cathedrals. The streets are lined with bars, shops and restaurants and the city is quite busy and vibrant with interesting people. According to wiki Salamanca is at the top of lists of cities with the highest bar per inhabitant ratios in Europe, in other words a great student town. :)

According to About.com
In the assembly of the Culture Secretaries of the European Union which took place in Brussels on the 28th of May 1998, it was officially decided the designation of Salamanca as a European City of Culture 2002 after having taken into consideration its qualities as a university town, open and hospitable as well as its historic and artistic richness which made the UNESCO declare this city as Heritage of Humanity.
The old part of this town of encounters and wise men, great thinkers on science and humanities make up an exceptional mosaic and network of cathedrals with the Palaces of Monterrey and Fonseca, the "Shell house", the Clavero tower, the Plaza Mayor and the convents of San Esteban and DueƱas. All this heritage is enriched by the university nature of the town with the oldest university in Spain
Today is the  Labour day holiday - May 1st in Europe-  and there were speeches and throngs of flag and banner waving folks in the main area of the city - Plaza Major. Yesterday's blog showed some pictures from this huge plaza, which was completed in 1755 and originally used for bullfighting. It is features 88 arches raised on pillars and decorated by sculptures of notable people. Yesterday's blog included a picture of the empty square surrounded by arches.

This is a picture of Plaza Major with all the May Day activity going on.
It is a pretty special city.

We toured the "new" Cathedral, which was completed in 1733 and was a century under construction.

We also toured the "old" Cathedral, which is Romanesque in style and built in the12th century.
We climbed the 250 odd steps up the bell tower of the Pontifical University of Salamanca.

We also took a walk down to the Tormes River and took the picture that heads this blog as well as the Roman bridge and statue of a bull.

We also toured the Museum of Nouveau and Art Deco. The only place we could take pictures was in the Cafe. It was pretty neat.

Tomorrow, presuming that it isn't pouring rain when we wake up, we will re-start our trek. Our next destination is about 17 km distant. The next major city, that might take us 5 or 6 days to reach, is Zamora. You can check it out on the map below. We are at 509 km now and just shy of 500 more to go to get to Santiago de Compostela. Of course we have skipped some distance and I would guess that we have walked maybe 300 of the 509 so far. Let's see how the next section goes, but I think we are well positioned to be able cover the remaining distance if we all stay in good health.

No comments:

Post a Comment