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 Spain Salamanca Podtours

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Renaissance city of golden stone

Salamanca is the home of Spain's oldest university, a centre of learning for centuries. But it's also a cityscape formed by the lovely golden stone of Villamayor, easily carved, glowing in the sun. And it's a city of the Renaissance, of fine palaces built for humanists and scholars.

But it's also a city that goes back to the Romans - indeed further back, as you'll see a Celto-Iberian sculpture on the Roman bridge. Romanesque churches and medieval towers complement the glories of the Renaissance in this stunning city.

We start in the centre of the city, in the Plaza Mayor - perhaps the finest square of any Spanish city; Napoleon called it "Europe's finest drawing room". We'll see the two cathedrals - one nestled up against the other - with an unusual Romanesque tower and some of the latest Gothic work in Spain, and go on to see the University with its fine facades, easily the equal of anything in Oxford or Cambridge. We'll also visit fine palaces such as the Casa de las Conchas, decorated by scallop shells and lovely ironwork Gothic grilles, and we'll see how many of the bishops and the noble families that built these palaces were related in a complex and sprawling family tree.

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