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Salamanca University

Courtyard, Museum and Historic Building

It was begun in 1411 when Benedict XIII ordered its erection.

It is organised on three floors.

The ground floor contains a medallion with the images of half of the Catholic Kings holding the royal sceptre. The rest of this floor is decorated with animals, foliage and chimeras, which cover the pilasters and moulding as in the rest of the facade.

The second floor is decorated with the coat of arms of Charles V flanked by two other coats of arms showing a two-headed eagle and a crowned eagle, symbolising the Empire and the Kingdom of Spain.

The third floor has grander ornamentation and is the most allegorical; in the centre there is a set of sculptures showing a Pope talking to cardinals and on either side the figures of Venus and Hercules between symbolic medallions.

The double door of the facade is the entrance to the University and leads to a hallway and a short, echeloned corridor leading to a cloister. Both are covered by Gothic stellar groined vaults.

The cloister is on two levels, the lower one and the west wing erected in the 15th-century and the other three sides dating from an 1879 renovation.

The lower cloister has a Mudejar coffered ceiling and leads to various lecture rooms, the Assembly Hall and the university chapel. Some of the lecture rooms are dedicated to distinguished figures such as Friar Luis de León, Francisco de Vitoria, Francisco Salinas, Dorado Montero and Miguel de Unamuno.

Where the seminar room of canon law was is now the Assembly Hall, decorated with tapestries from Brussels from the 17th century and a portrait of Charles V, attributed to Goya.

The baroque university chapel was erected in 1767 by Gavilán Tomé and has a marble and bronze altar containing a painting by Francisco Caciániga.

A Gothic staircase covered by a rich starred vault and a 16th-century Plateresque banister leads to the upper floor.

Also on the upper floor, protected by a 16th-century Renaissance grille, is a library containing manuscripts and incunables from the 11th to the 14th centuries, some of which are the only copies in the world, as well as 40,000 books edited between the 16th and 18th centuries. A large part of the books are kept in baroque bookcases from the middle of the 18th century.

Address: LIBREROS, S/N
Province: Salamanca

Salamanca guide

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Salamanca City
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Salamanca University
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Salamanca Dueñas Convent
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