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Claustro Convento de las Dueñas, Salamanca
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History of Salamanca

Salamanca started life as a small village atop the San Vicente hills looking over the river Tormes. That was 2,700 years ago, during the first Iron Age, and since then the city has been witness to the arrival and departure of Vacceans, Vettones, Romans, Visigoths and Moors. he medieval repopulation was overseen by Raymond of Bourgogne, son-in-law of king Alfonso IV, and set the foundations of a city that following eight centuries amassing both art and wisdom, and thanks in large part to its university, became one of the capitals with the richest cultural heritage in the whole of Europe as well as boasting some spectacular monuments.

Toro del Puente Romano

[Bull on the bridge]


Puente Romano de Salamanca

[Roman Bridge]

During the first Iron Age, a small group of farmers residing in a dozen houses protected by a simple wall controlled the ford across the river Tormes.
Four hundred years later, the number of dwellings grew to include the rocky platform better known as Teso de las Catedrales or Cathedral Knoll.
In the middle of the 4th Century B.C. the ancient Celtic-Iberian town of Salmantica came into its own. . Protected by a stone wall, remains of which can still be found along several streets in the historic centre, the settlement had a definite urban structure that was heavily influenced by the two major pre-Roman tribes: the Vacceans and Vettones. In fact it was the Vettones who have been attributed with the creation of the Bull on the Bridge, a zoomorphic sculpture that has become symbolic of Salamanca.


En el año 220 a.C., los casi cinco mil habitantes de la Salmantica prerromana asistieron al asalto protagonizado por el general cartaginés Aníbal Barca, acompañado por un exótico escuadrón  de cuarenta elefantes. Este acontecimiento, que supuso para la ciudad su entrada en la historia, fue  el anuncio de una no muy lejana conquista romana.
In the middle of the 1st Century B.C., the Romans turned Salmantica into a civitas (a political community) and a strategic enclave on the Vía de la Plata – Silver Way - trade route.
To make things run smoother on this particular stretch (that linked Merida with Astorga), Roman engineers built a large bridge that still spans the waters of the river Tormes. The town, that at that time belonged to the Roman province of Lusitania, was upgraded to a municipality.

Fachada de la Universidad de Salamanca



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