You are going to spend 1 day in Segovia during your vacation in Spain and you are looking for ideas and the best attractions in Segovia to ensure you make the most out of your time. Let us help you with our list of top things to enjoy in Segovia
Segovia is located at a bit more than one hour´s drive from Madrid and it holds some of Spain´s top sights!. It is a must-see destination in Spain so in case you hesitate to visit we strongly recommend you do. You will not regret it!
Salamanca top touris attraction
University of Salamanca
Salamanca has been a university town for over 700 years, ever since King Alfonso IX gave the charter for the institution in 1218 and Ferdinand III confirmed the privilege in 1243. The university was originally housed in the old cathedral. It flourished in the 16 Century, when it was known as one of the oldest and most distinguished of universities in the world. It has lost much of its importance but at the end of the XX century it has flourished again and it is a hub for international students.
The most famous thing at the University is the famous frog. You will know you are in front of the university because you will always find people trying to find the frog on its façade.
The university buildings we see today, which are really a number of lecture rooms built round an interior courtyard, date from the 15C. The highly decorated façade is from the early 16C and is the most famous example of a Plateresque façade. The central section, which projects over the two gates, bears the medallion of Ferdinand and Isabella, with the coat-of-arms of Charles V above them, and the Pope and cardinals at the very top.
The whole relief is chiselled in the stone in quite extraordinarily fine detail. The university courtyard is arcaded and provides access to the separate lecture rooms. The Aula, now a museum, has baroque carpets and a painting of Charles IV in the style of Goya. One of the most interesting rooms is the Frater Luis de Léon lecture hall, which is furnished in its original style, with an old dais and primitive wooden desks for the students. The Salinas Music Room has two panel paintings by Juan de Flandes, and the old chapel has works by Fernando Gallego and Felipe Bigarny and a retable by Juan de Flandes. The new chapel has a baroque altar and paintings by Juan de Ribera. There is a fine, wide staircase (with reliefs and stellar vaulting) which leads through to the upper cloisters.
A Gothic door leads through to the old baroque-furnished library, which contains 50,000 old volumes, early printed works, miniature codices and Greek and Latin manuscripts bound in leather and parchment. Nearby is the modern library. Near the entrance to the university is the former Hospital del Estudio, now the Rector’s esidence, which was built in 1600, and the Escuelas Menores, which dates from 1533 and has a Plateresque façade, an arcaded courtyard, and a lecture room containing a huge fresco known as the Ciclo de Salamanca, a hunting picture by Fernando Gallego. There are paintings by Juan de Flandes in the same room.
Convento de San Esteban – Salamanca
A few minutes walk from the cathedrals of Salamanca, this elegant convent and church welcomes any visitor with its impressive façade. The convent is not amongst the top 5 sights in Salamanca, but it is with no doubt a master-piece example of churriguesco style.
A Dominican monastery built by Juan de Ribero 1590. It has arcades at ground level, wide windows and medallions on the first floor and Gothic windows and pinnacles on the second floor, all of which display Italian influence. The church is of particular interest. It was designed by Juan de Alava in 1524, and later extended by a number of architects
It is single-aisled with side chapels. The fine Plateresque façade is highly ornamented and beautifully proportioned.
The relief over the portal depicts the Stoning of St.Stephen and was completed by Ceroni in 1610. The interior is also impressive. The high altar has gilded columns wound around with tendrils and is the work of José Churriguera. The middle section contains a painting by Claudio Coello.
The choir stalls were made by Alfonso Balbás in 1651-8. The choir also contains a painting attributed to Rubens and a large fresco of the “Triumph of the Church (1505) by Palomino. The left transept contains the altar of St.Dominic by Joaquin Churriguera, which has a sculpture of the saint by Luis Salvador Carmona. The altarof the Rosary is also by Joaquín Churriguera, and the painting of the Coronathe Virgin is by Villamor. The sacristy and the chapterhouse are 16C, by the architect Moreno, The ‘Escalers de Soto’ (staircase) dates from 1533 and was designed by Martín de Santiago. The Claustro de los Reyes was built by Sardiña between the beginning of the 16C and 1591. It has two storeys of arcades; the lower level has English late Gothic vaulting. The late 15C Claustro de Colón also has a double row of arcades.
Salamanca Roman bridge
The massive Roman bridge over the Río Tormes offers one of the best views of Salamanca and a fantastic romantic walk. It is a 1,300 feet long bridge and it rests on 26 arches, of which 15 are original. It is known to have been rebuilt as early as the 2C. We strongly recommend you enjoy the views of the bridge from the other side of the Tormes. Very romantic!
Casa de las Conchas – House of shells
One of the most visited attractions in Salamanca, Dr.Talavera Maldonado, a Knight of the Santiago order and counsellor to Queen Isabella, had this fantastic building built in 1514. The façade is decorated with shells, coats-of-arms and beautiful windows; the courtyard has a fine two-storeyed arcade and a staircase with decorated columns, lions and a coffered ceiling. the building houses today a public library.
The Casa los Abarca Maldonado. Arts museum of Salamanca
This mansion of renaissance style, which belonged to Queen Isabella’s physician, Dr.Ferná Alvarez Abarca, was built at the end of the 15th century and has a fine façade by Francisco de Colonia and a splendid wood-paneled ceiling in one room. It now houses the Provincial Museum of Fine Art, which has some prehistoric and Roman finds as well as a collection of paintings which includes works by Morales, González Arenal, Zuloaga, Zubiaurre. This is one of our favorite attractions in Salamanca. We love the simplicity of its architecture and its location.
Convento de Agustinas de la Concepción (or de Monterrey)
Opposite the Monterrey Palace on the Plaza de Agustinas. It was founded by the Counts of Monterrey in the 17C and contains some interesting paintings and items in gold. Its church, La Purisma, was built in 1636 in Italianate style by Gómez de Mora, Baltasar López and Antonio de Carassa. It contains a Crucifixion by Francisco Barsano and depictions of St. Januarius, St. Augustine and the Adoration of the Shepherds by José de Ribera. The huge painting above the high altar is also by Ribera; it dates from 1635 and depicts the Immaculate Conception, or Purísma, and has been called ‘the century’s finest Virgin’. The marble statues of the Counts of Monterrey in prayer is also interesting. They are by the Italian sculptors Algardi and Finelli, who also fashioned the marble-faced pulpit.
Colegio del Arzobispo Fonseca (formerColegio de los Irlandeses)
A bishop’s College, formerly Colegio Mayor de Santiago or the Los Irlandeses. The college dates from 1578 when it was commissioned by the Archbishop of Toledo, Alonso de Fonseca It was designed by the architects Diego de Siloé, Juan de Alava and Pedro de Ibarra. The church portal was designed by Alonso de Covarrubias and the altar, which dates from 1529, by Alonso Berruguete. This attraction in Salamanca is a greast example of exquisite architecture.
Calitxo and Melibea garden
This is a very romantic and hidden spot that offers views over the river but also the cathedral. The garden is depicted in la Celestina, one of Spain´s most famous books. The story says this garden had inspired author Francisco de Rojas to write this romantic novel. The garden is next to the old city walls. There is a beautiful fountain and a sculpture of La Celestina (the matchmaker). The story depicted in La Celestina will make you think of Romeo and Juliet!
La Clerecia /EI Real Colegio del Espirito Santo
Located just in front of the Casa de las Conchas and a few minute’s walk from la Plaza Mayor, the building of the Jesuit college was commissioned in 1617 by Philip III and his wife Margaret of Austria to the plans of Juan Gómez de Mora. It was eventually completed in 1779 with the college portal.
Various architects were involved in the design of the church, college and ‘residencia de la Comunidad’. The church is single aisled and is mostly the work of Gómez de
Mora; the façade dates from 1657 and the large, gilded altar is 17-18C. The sacristy
contains a retable by Andréz García de Quiñones, and there is a Flagellation of
Christ by Luis Salvator Carmona. The college has a well-balanced façade and a baroque courtyard by García de Quiñones which must rank among the finest of its kind in Spain. He was also responsible for designing the staircases, which were built 1730-40. This one of the most impressive tourist attractions in Salamanca. We have left it to the end of the list, but in no way that should mislead you, this is a top sight!
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