Salamanca University

This famous school was founded in 1218 by Alfonso IX of Leon and became famous all over Europe as a great teaching center. The main building was constructed in 1433 and has a square base and a central patio with surrounding galleries that looks like a cloister. The facade is famous for its Plateresque style. The building contains the University Library, with more than 250,000 books. The facade has statues of Queen Isabela and King Ferdinand, and also the coat of arms of Carlos V. These are surrounded by floral motifs and heraldic emblems. There is a frog hidden here that is supposed to give students good luck on their exams, if they can locate it. There are several buildings that comprise the university. Today about 35,000 students attend the university.

The University of Salamanca Library is the oldest library in Spain and dates from 1254. It was founded by Alfonso X el Sabio. The present library building was constructed in the 16th century by the architect Manuel de Larra Churriguera, who was the nephew of Alberto de Curriguera, the architect of the Plaza Mayor. This library has 485 books published before 1500. Today the library has 63,000 books that were published between the 16th century and 1830.