We didn’t have enough time in Salamanca and I could have wandered for several more days, exploring the corners in Salamanca.
The Shell House
The Shell House is one of the famous sights in Salamanca. It is a mansion which dates from the 15th and 16th centuries. The facade is covered with scallop shells which symbolise the Military Order of Santiago, because the first owner of the house, Talavera Maldonado, was the Chancellor of the Order. Of course the scallops also symbolise the Camino. Today the mansion is a public library.
Entrance to the Museum of Salamanca
The Museum was established in 1884 and it is in the House of the Three Doctors of the Queen which dates from the 16th century. It stands opposite the Escuela Mayores and best of all – it is free on Sundays! The museum has a wide-ranging collection.
In the courtyard, as you enter the museum, is a verraco of the 3rd-2nd century BC which was found at Gallegos de Argañán. This is an area on the border with Portugal in which a lot of prehistoric remains have been found such as dolmens and Castros of the Vettones people. (We have found one or two of these Castros before on our explorations in Spain, and there are dozens of dolmens in Portugal and France.)
Inside the Museum
This ceiling shows the Mudejar influences which could also be seen in the House of Shells, and it is unexpected and very beautiful.
Like all the old mansions the house was built around a courtyard which often included a well. In this part of the Spain the summer temperatures are usually 30C and over.
Anton van den Wyngaerde was a Flemish topographical artist of the 16th century who travelled widely in Europe making his highly detailed map/drawings. This was his view of Salamanca in 1570 and we saw another of his drawings at the Monastery of Yuste. In Spain the king, Philip II commissioned him to document all the main towns.
Paintings in the Museum
There are lots of artefacts in the Museum but it was some of the paintings which caught my eye on this visit for different reasons: de Ribera’s paintings are always dramatic, three of the painters were ‘local’ and I loved the atmosphere in the painting of the Alps.
On this bright and sunny Sunday it was the Cancer Walk, raising money to combat this dreadful disease. There was a ‘run’ but also a more sedate ‘walk’, and at the end of the route everyone gathered in the Plaza Mayor for a concert. I found afterwards that more than 15,000 people had participated.
Corners in Salamanca
And then there are the sights which just catch your eye as you walk round.
And of course the Plaza Mayor!
There are many wonderful corners in Salamanca which is a very beautiful city. I must return!