February 21, 2012

"Fingerprints Are in the Sandstone" (Salamanca)

Salamanca is the prototypical college town--typical by European standards, that is. Like any college town, you can expect to see plenty of young people, happening downtown hangouts, cool contemporary architecture, and lots of quaint shops and cafes. The one difference is that this particular college is one of the oldest in the world.

This being the case, the city has grown around its rich historical heritage. No amount of population growth has been able to choke out beautiful universities, bell towers, rotundas, and (of course) cathedrals.

The city's culture has, however, been quite shaped by the influx of eager students to the University of Salamanca. A tradition has developed that involves finding a tiny, stone frog sculpted into the facade of the university. According to legend, if you look for the frog and do not find it, you will never finish your studies. EVER! Haha, if you do find the frog, however, not only will you graduate in a timely fashion, you will also marry within the next year. Some people believe firmly in these old wives' tales, but others just see the finding of the frog as a general omen of good luck.

Well, we found it, so let's just hope that's a good thing :-)

Title from the song "Salamanca" by The Go Set.


I want one

It is a tradition for lovers to write their names on a lock and attach it to this well found in a Salamancan garden

Plenty more (including cathedrals!) after the jump!

The Old Cathedral

The "New" Cathedral. Built in the 1500s.



The cathedral's many past inscriptions are permanently remembered by rusty "scars"


Plaza Mayor. Did some major photo stalking here.

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