The city: Salamanca
The name Fonseca has its own particular significance in Salamanca.The Camino Fonseca is the Jacobean pathway which links Salamanca to Santiago de Compostela, along the Vía de la Plata as far as the Granja de Moreruela, where it joins up with the Camino Sanabrés which leads to Galicia. Fonseca is also the name of the Colegio (College) built by Diego de Silóe and the Palacio (Palace) built by Rodrigo Gil de Hontañón.
Today, this symbol of artistic distinction is also the home of the abba Fonseca Hotel, which, for the last three years, has shared this historic and artistic site with monuments such as the Casa de las Conchas, the Plaza Mayor, the Cathedral, the Campo de San Francisco, the Casa Lis museum and the University Hospital, all just a few metres away.
Although little is known of the origins of the city, some archaeological remains have been found dating from the Lower Palaeolithic Period. But the town, which was then known as Helmantica, was really founded during Hannibal’s conquest in the second century B.C. The era of the Catholic Kings brought a wealth of marvels to the city.The city's economic life revolves around the services sector, as it is an important touristic centre. The other driving force remains the University, as well as agriculture and livestock.
Salamanca has been given the status of World Heritage Site and was European Capital of Culture in 2002.
Tourist Route 1The Plaza Mayor (main square), the Casa de las Conchas, Clerecía, the University, the Museo Provincial, the Puente Romano, the Catedral Vieja (Old Cathedral), the Catedral Nueva (New Cathedral), the Museo Casa Lis.
Tourist Route 2Palacio de la Salina, Torre del Clavero, Palacio Orellana, Palacio Abrantes, San Esteban, Convento de las Dueñas, Calatrava, Sancti Spiritus, Torre del Aire.
Tourist Route 3The Palacio R Figueroa, the Palacio Solís, the Palacio Garcigrande, San Boal, San Marcos, the Casa de Santa Teresa, the Casa Doña Maria la Brava, the Casa Rodríguez Manzano.
Bicycle routes in SalamancaIf you are keen on mountain biking, we invite you to visit the most recommended bicycle routes in the area. Barco de Avila, Baños de Ledesma and many more places you will be able to visit it by bicycle. Find it out here!
Visit the routes
Festivals of interestThe city's best-known customs and traditions are:
- The 'Mariquelo' on 1st November, when a person climbs to the weathervane of the cathedral to commemorate the earthquake in Lisbon in 1755.
- Las Aguedas, on 5th February, Married Women's Day.
- Semana Santa (Easter), which has been declared of Regional Touristic Interest.
- Lunes de Aguas, the Monday after Easter Monday, the festival marking the beginning of springtime.
- The Fiestas de la Virgen de la Vega and San Mateo, from 8th to 21st September, with the Feria Taurina, Agrícola and Ganadera (Bullfighting, Agriculture and Livestock Festival).
- San Juan de Sahagún, the patron saint's day, with processions of people in giant masks, charades and drums.