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Spanish in Salamanca

Learn Spanish in Salamanca

The 'Golden City', Salamanca is, today still, living proof of the majestocity and elaborateness that dominated the taste of the Spanish people from the end of the XV Century until the beginning of the XVIII Century. Home to the most specifically autochthonous architectural forms found in Spain, Plateresque and Churrigueresque, the entire old city centre was declared a World Heritage site by the UNESCO in 1988.

Salamanca

If the history of western art could be reductively simplified to two forms of tendencies, those aligned along a more conservative, measured and cautious aesthetic, and those where boldness and flamboyance were the favoured rule, then we would be entitled to say that Spain has always found itself more closely attached to the latter, regardless of the historical moment. This is true, for instance, of the architecture found in the peninsula towards the end of the XV century, when the lingering influence of a Gothic style that refused to fade away gave rise to the style known as the Plateresque, or the Isabeline Gothic.

Boasting one of the most representative collections of Plateresque decoration in the country, the facade of the main building of the University of Salamanca, the oldest active university in Spain and second oldest in Europe, is considered to be a true work of art. Following the Gothic standard, the surface is split into three horizontal sections, each more richly decorated in stucco than the previous, such that the wall takes the texture of a golden plate (due to its colour), hammered at will by a goldsmith in order to create a variety of different shapes. Hence the name of Golden City.

And yet, Plateresque is not the dominant architectural style of Salamanca: the city's main square, the Plaza Mayor, as well as the Jesuit seminary, the college of Calatrava, the Colegio San Ambrosio and the churches of San Sebastián and Santa Cruz de Canizares, not to mention the two cathedrals, constitute an enviable, and incomparable, catalogue of the late baroque style that came to be known as Churrigueresque, as a tribute to the Churriguera family, whose members, from the patriarch, José Benito, going through his brothers, Alberto and Joaquín, and ending with his two nephews, Manuel and José de Larra Churriguera, developed and firmly established a totally original and unique architecture in the city and the country. Should you ever visit Salamanca, these are some of the landmarks you cannot miss.

University

Predominantly a university town, this is also a popular destination among foreign students who often decide to learn Spanish in Salamanca, precisely because this is far from being a static and stiff museum piece. As a matter of fact, given that more than 25% of its population is constituted by students, the town is vibrant and eclectic, often swinging to the tune of the various cultures that are attracted to the historical University of Salamanca. In this sense, Salamanca enjoys a good portion of the best of both worlds, as it is able to combine the beautiful setting provided by its surroundings with the restless cravings of a predominantly young population.

Similarly, the city presents itself as a perfect location to carry out intellectual activity, as it is quite literally sunk in centuries of learning that are richly complemented by the highly developed current state of its universities. The largest student town in the country, Salamanca feeds itself from its imposing past and continues to enrich its heritage through the uninterrupted activity of its present set up.

In this respect, Salamanca might well be the right place for you to embark on Spanish courses in Spain, as it is perfectly equipped to encourage and support all kinds of academic activity, while at the same time providing the thrilling environment of a riveting student community, always ready to provide original sources of relentless entertainment. Larger than a town and more lively than the sheer numbers of its population would suggest, Salamanca is an ideal destination if you are looking to combine business with pleasure and learning with fun.