The Spanish Language Blog

Salamanca, ´Ciudad Dorada´. Salamanca is also called ´the golden city´. This name is due to the type of stone with which many monuments and other buildings are built. This stone comes from Villamayor, a village in the region of Salamanca. This type of stone has a high iron content, giving the city a golden glow especially at sunrise and sunset. Besides this stunning appearance, Salamanca has much more to offer. Such as the new and the old cathedral, among others, and definitely do not forget the beautiful University of Salamanca.

The Romanesque architectural style

The origins of Romanesque architecture date back to the early 11th century. The construction of the old cathedral of Salamanca was started in the 12th century; it was not completely finished until the 14th century. The old cathedral therefore has many features of Romanesque architecture. For example, the cathedral has thick walls, with small windows and narrow doorways. The walls of this type of building carried almost the entire weight of the building. It was therefore feared that if one made openings too large, the walls could no longer bear the weight. So this is why many buildings with Romanesque architecture have dark interiors. Some other features of the Romanesque architectural style that can be found in the old cathedral include the round curved walls, quiet and clear shapes, many decorations and a cross shape as a floor plan.

The Gothic architectural style

Gradually around the 15th century, the Romanesque style gradually passed into the Gothic architectural style. Therefore, the new cathedral built between the 16th and 18th centuries has many features of the Romanesque architectural style, but also some features of the Gothic architectural style. The main difference between the Romanesque and Gothic styles is that Gothic construction left out many elements that were previously important to ensure that the building would stand. Instead of these elements, more use was made of cross-ribbed vaults, pillars and pointed arches. All of these uses made it possible to make the buildings much taller than previously possible.

The University of Salamanca has influences of different architectural styles, for example, the buildings have Romanesque, Gothic and as well as Platoresque features. The main features of the latter architectural style are much reflected in the facade of the University of Salamanca. This facade is beautifully decorated with various ornaments such as chandeliers, garlands and various other ornaments. For example, in addition to the famous frog in the facade, there is also a time traveler. This one symbolizes the "journey" that the University of Salamanca has gone through.

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