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The capital of province of the same name, Salamanca is located in the Castile-Leon region of central Spain. This city has a long history that dates back to late Bronze Age, when the first permanent settlement was established on the backs of the Dureo River. Built by the Celtic Vacceos tribe, this settlement was sacked by Hannibal the Great, and later allied with the Carthaginians during the last Punic Wars.
Following the wars the city came into Roman sphere of influence and was known as Helmatica or later Salmantica. During the long Pax Roma, the city fared well and became an important trading hub in the Iberian Peninsula.After the fall of the Roman Empire the area was controlled by the Ostrogoths and later the Moors. Following the Spanish Reconquesta the city experienced great growth and today much of its Renaissance past can still be seen. The city is also home to the bronze crucifix that was carried into battle by El Cid’s forces. The city was heavily damaged during the Peninsular War, when the British battled France for control of Spain, at the hard fought Battle of Salamanca in July of 1812. The city recovered however, and today it is considered one of only a few Spanish cities where the locals speak the “purest” of the Spanish language.