|0622 Old and New Cathedral in Salamanca|
Situated approximately 200km west of Madrid and 80km east of the Portuguese border, on several hills by the Tormes River, Salamanca is the oldest and most important university city in Spain. Built by Celts and conquered by Carthaginians in the 3rd century B.C., it then became a Roman settlement (Helmantica) before being ruled successively by Alans, Visigoths and Moors. After the battle of Simancas (939) the Christians resettled this area.
The city reached its height of splendor during the 16th century, when its university hosted the most important intellectuals of the time, but suffered a downturns during the 17th century, and in the 18th century it experienced a rebirth, in this period being finished the new baroque Cathedral and main square (Plaza Mayor). In 1988 the city's historic centre, with its important Romanesque, Gothic, Moorish, Renaissance and Baroque monuments, became an UNESCO World Heritage Site, under the name Old City of Salamanca.
Two of the main buildings of the city are the two cathedrals, the Old Cathedral, of the 12th century and of Romanesque style, and the New Cathedral, much larger, built in 16th century of Gothic style and completed in 18th century in Baroque style. The place where they both join is known as Patio Chico and is one of the most charming corners of the city. Both have a Latin cross plans with three naves.
The Old Cathedral, dedicated to Santa Maria de la Sede (Saint Mary of the See), is distinguished by an amazing dome over the transept, that is known as the Torre del Gallo (Cock's tower). The New Cathedral, dedicated to the Virgen de la Asunción, has a Baroque dome which produces a sensation of grandness. The choir, by Joaquín Churriguera, is deeply decorated and constitutes one of the most relevant choirs in the Spanish Baroque.
About the stamp
The stamp, having the Spanish tourism as a subject, was issued on January 2, 2012.
Salamanca - Wikipedia
Old City of Salamanca - UNESCO official website
Salamanca - In Spain
Sender: Fabienne (direct swap)
Sent from Madrid (Community of Madrid / Spain), on 04.01.2012
Photo: Carlos Santiago