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Salamanca municipality
View of Salamanca
View of Salamanca
coat of arms Map of Spain
Salamanca coat of arms
Salamanca (Spain)
Finland road sign 311 (1994-2020) .svg
Basic data
Autonomous Community : Castile LeonCastile and León Castile and León
Province : Salamanca
Coordinates 40 ° 58 ′  N , 5 ° 40 ′  W Coordinates: 40 ° 58 ′  N , 5 ° 40 ′  W
Height : 802  msnm
Area : 39.34 km²
Residents : 144.228 (Jan. 1, 2019)
Population density : 3,666.19 inhabitants / km²
Postal code : 37001-37080
Municipality number  ( INE ): 37274
Website : Salamanca

Salamanca (originally founded in ancient times as Salamantica ) is the capital of the province of Salamanca in the autonomous Spanish region of Castile and León ( Castilla y León ). In 1988 Salamanca was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO ; In 2002 Salamanca was together with Bruges European Capital of Culture .

Location and climate

Salamanca is located on the Río Tormes about 215 km northwest of Madrid at an altitude of about 800  m . The climate is temperate to warm; Rain (an average of 400 mm / year) falls mainly in the winter half-year.

Population development

year 1857 1900 1950 2000 2017
Residents 15,213 25,690 80.239 158,556 144,436

The rural exodus as a result of the mechanization of agriculture led to significant population growth in the 20th century. However, the city is growing much more slowly than the booming capital region , because the sparsely populated area offers little economic potential other than tourism .

Salamanca old town
UNESCO world heritage UNESCO World Heritage Emblem

La Clerecía, la Rúa Mayor y la Plaza de Anaya desde la Catedral Nueva (Salamanca) .jpg
National territory: SpainSpain Spain
Type: Culture
Criteria : i, ii, iv
Surface: 50.78 ha
Reference No .: 381rev
UNESCO region : Europe and North America
History of enrollment
Enrollment: 1988  (session 12)


The old Iberian settlement was founded in 219 BC. Visited by Hannibal . Under Roman and Visigoth rule (133 BC to approx. 712 AD) the city grew into an important trading center . Salamanca was conquered by the Moors in the 8th century : Musa ibn Nusayr conquered the city during the Moorish invasion of the Iberian Peninsula . It was not until 1085 that Alfonso VI took it over. Recaptured by León ( reconquista ) . During the conquests and reconquests, the city was largely destroyed and was uninhabited for a long time. Under Raimundo de Borgoña , the period of repopulation began in 1102. The Christian new settlers rose against Castile - Leon in 1162 and called for help in 1163, which held Salamanca until 1165.

Salamanca experienced its heyday in the 16th century. In 1524 the construction of the church and monastery of San Esteban began.

At the Battle of Salamanca on July 22, 1812, a British-Portuguese army under Wellington defeated a French army under Marmont .

The Salamanca Declaration, with the naming of inclusion as the most important goal of international education policy and subsequently a first international framework for its implementation, was the main result of the UNESCO Conference Education for Special Needs: Access and Quality , which took place from June 7th to 10th Held in Salamanca in 1994: over 300 participants representing 92 governments and 25 international organizations met here to support the goal of “Education for All”.

culture and education

Facade of the University of Salamanca

Salamanca is known for the University of Salamanca with its famous mascot, a frog on a skull on its facade. The university fills the city with more than 40,000 students, which gives it a lively, youthful character. The university, founded in 1218, is the oldest university in Spain that still exists today (the University of Palencia was founded 10 years earlier, but was dissolved again around 1250). As early as the 16th century, when the foundation stone for the modern humanistic theory of natural law was laid here in the so-called School of Salamanca , it had 8,000 students. The Universidad de Salamanca became one of the most important educational institutions in Europe. Among the most famous teachers are Fray Luis de León and Miguel de Unamuno . Lope de Vega , Calderón de la Barca and Miguel de Cervantes got the intellectual tools for their poetic work in Salamanca.

In 1492, a few months before his sea voyage to America, Columbus had to explain his theories about the circumference of the earth and the distance from Europe to Asia to the assembled skeptical professors and cardinals and discuss the plans to reach the east via the west.

The Dominican Father Francisco de Vitoria formulated the foundations of international law here in 1540 . The most famous rector of the university was the Spanish writer Miguel de Unamuno .

The main portal of the university is adorned with numerous sculptures and dense decor in the style of the Spanish early Renaissance, the so-called Plateresque style. A skull with a frog (actually a toad) symbolizes the excesses in life that are atoned for after death - a reminder to the fun-loving students.

The best standard Spanish should be spoken in Salamanca . This and the language courses organized by the university and various private providers mean that the city is always filled with foreign students in the summer months.


Plaza Mayor in the evening

There are two cathedrals in the city, the old cathedral from the 12th century and the new cathedral from the 16th century, which form a common building complex. The tower of the new cathedral was reinforced as it was cracked after the Lisbon earthquake . You can also see traces of the university on the cathedral: it used to be the custom to paint a Víctor , a red "V" and his name on the cathedral after successfully completing his doctorate .

During the Spanish Civil War, Franco's headquarters were temporarily located in the bishop's palace opposite .

The Plaza Mayor , on which u. a. Bullfights were held, is considered the most beautiful place in Spain. Philip V , first Spanish king from the French house of Bourbon , gave him a gift to the residents in 1729 for their loyalty in the War of Succession .

Also known is the Casa de las Conchas (House of Shells), a city ​​palace built in Plateresco style, the facade of which is adorned with more than 300 scallops made of golden-yellow sandstone, the symbol of the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela .

Pedestrians can still use the Puente Romano , a bridge built by the Romans over the river.


Salamanca is the center of an agriculturally used region. However, traders and day laborers settled in the city early on; from the latter, craft and service professions gradually developed. In the last decades of the 20th century, several industrial parks have emerged.


The city is connected to the rapidly growing Spanish motorway network. The A-66 runs in north-south direction (to Zamora or Cáceres ), and to the west (in the direction of Ciudad Rodrigo and Portugal) the A-62, which, in reverse , leads north-east to Valladolid . The A-50 runs to the east (towards Ávila ).

Salamanca is connected to the Spanish rail network, but not yet to high-speed traffic. The La Alamedilla railway station lies on the railway line from Medina del Campo to Vilar Formoso and is the starting point of a route to Ávila. There is a regional airport that is mainly used by the Air Force. In addition, it is served by small private planes and scheduled flights by some “low-cost airlines”, but only in summer.

sons and daughters of the town

Web links

Commons : Salamanca  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikivoyage: Salamanca  travel guide

Individual evidence

  1. Cifras oficiales de población resultantes de la revisión del Padrón municipal a 1 de enero . Population statistics from the Instituto Nacional de Estadística (population update).
  2. Salamanca - climate tables
  3. ^ Salamanca - population development
  4. The Salamanca Declaration and Framework for Action on Education for Special Needs . In:, Education, Basic Documents, Salamanca Declaration ( Memento of the original from February 28, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (66 kB, December 29, 2011; PDF) @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  5. Salamanca - commercial areas
  6. ^ Dirección General de Tráfico: Información de tráfico. Retrieved January 13, 2019 (Spanish).