Salamanca / Culture / University of Salamanca


The list of Salamanca Monuments is very long; however, this summary will give you a great idea of what awaits you in our historic city.

University of Salamanca

Universidad de Salamanca The pride of the city for its historic, artistic and cultural value.

It was founded in 1218 by King León Alfonso IX and established as a University in the Magna Carta by Alfonso X in 1254.

It initially followed the model established by the University of Bologna, placing greater emphasis on the teaching of canon and civil law as opposed to theology and philosophy, which were more prominent in the University of Paris. It soon became the most prestigious European university, reaching its height of influence in the XV and XVI centuries. You must visit the impressive façade as well as the interior including the Fray Luis de León classroom and the reliefs adorning the cloister staircase. The library, dating back to 1254 was created by Alfonso X The Wise, andhouses various priceless manuscripts and incunables, some of which include the Toha and the “librosredondos” (round books) which were acquired by Torres Villarroel in France. They were in fact, globes, but he called them round books so that the they would be accepted by the library of Salamanca.

JJust opposite the University, is the Patio de EscuelasMayores, a University courtyard designed for the observation of the great façade of the University.

Inside the courtyard, you will find the old Student Hospital (1412), currently the office of the Vice-Chancellor, and the gothic architecture of the EscuelasMayores (1415), EscuelasMenores (1533) and of course, the impressive façade of the University (1512-1516).

Legends and other stories about The University of Salamanca

From the University courtyard of theEscuelasMenores, you enter into the “Cielo de Salamanca” (Sky of Salamanca), exhibiting an astrological theme that was most likely used for educational purposes in the fields of astronomy and astrology.

It is said that in order to have good luck with passing their exams and courses, studentsmust find the frog on the façade of the University. It´s quite a feat to find it without clues! Give it a try!

When walking through the historical district of Salamanca, particularly in the surrounding areas of the University, it is quite common to see some of the faculty buildings marked with the typical crimson symbols of victory, still used today to commemorate students who have received a doctorate in their field of study.


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