Salamanca is a province of Spain. Its current population is 144.949 and historical context is that it had its origin in a village settled in the hill of San Vicente on the river Tormes. This happened about 2,700 years ago, during the First Age of Iron, and since then the place witnessed the passing of Vacceans, Vettones, Romans, Visigoths and Muslims.
From the middle of the fourth century C. Salamanca was protected by a stone wall. It was influenced by two unique pre-Roman towns: vacceos and vettones. Precisely the latter should be attributed the authorship of the Toro Del Puente, a sculpture that has turned into one of the best known in Salamanca.
From the middle of the 1st century BC, the Romans converted Salamanca into a populous strategic enclave within the route of the Via de la Plata.
To facilitate the passage of this road (which communicated Merida and Astorga), the Roman engineers built a long bridge, which still continues to save the waters of the Tormes. The city, which belonged to the Lusitania, came to reach the category of municipality.
In the thirteenth century the city saw its walled perimeter expand and, above all, attended, in 1218, the foundation of the General Studies, birth of the University.
Salamanca attended a real constructive fever, including the works of the New Cathedral, which completely transformed its urban physiognomy.
A great number of palaces, mansions, convents, colleges and university schools were erected.
The golden age extended, at least in the cultural field, well into the seventeenth century and coincides with what has come to be called the Golden Age of Spanish letters. It would not be difficult to cross in those moments and in any street in Salamanca with writers, musicians, philosophers and humanists as universal as Francisco de Vitoria, Fray Luis de Leon, Francisco de Salinas, Miguel de Cervantes, St. John of the Cross, St. Teresa of Jesus, Luis de Góngora, Mateo Alemán, Vicente Espinel, Francisco de Quevedo, Calderón de la Barca or Lope de Vega.
They built some Baroque buildings, like the Clerecía and the Plaza Mayor.
The arrival of democracy brought to Salamanca, like the rest of Spain, a long period of social integration and economic prosperity, transforming it into a true university, cultural and tourist empire. In 1988, the city of the Tormes reached the international recognition by Unesco with its declaration like City Patrimony of the Humanity.
What I liked the most about Salamanca was the history of the university frog. The frog of Salamanca is an ornamental detail carved on the cover of the building that over time has become important, to be an icon of the city. It is the representation of a small frog located on top of a skull. On the fate of the one who sees first, among a group, the frog has described numerous legends.
However, I didn’t like the cobbled streets because it was very difficult to walk on them.
In conclusion, I really liked the city and I’m sure I’ll visit it again.