I took a number of pictures in Salamanca, and should post them. So here they are.
This is an interior shot of the catedral nueva – new cathedral – which was built beside and slightly on top of the old cathedral, and which I generally found to be very beautiful, aside from the bits where the baroque decoration got to be too much. Unfortunately the lovely light-and-shadow effect of a gothic cathedral didn’t sit very well with my camera, so most of the rays of light came out looking silly rather than gorgeous.
This is a bit of the exterior of the new cathedral. I was quite puzzled when I first saw it, but then the guide explained that the sandstone wears away and that this bit was recently redone in the style of the original – mostly.
I’m including this photo just to give you a general idea what the architecture of Salamanca as a whole is like. Most of the buildings (at least in the old part) are built of the local sandstone which yellows when exposed to the sun (piedra dorada), and the streets are narrow but beautiful. When you get a view of the sky, there’s often an impressive building sticking into it; there are churches and buildings that look like churches everywhere (this caused a bit of a problem at one point when we hadn’t properly memorized the look of the church in front of our hotel (and hadn’t realized that it was downhill from other parts of the city), and were navigating by the old cathedral, thinking it was our church, but that got us close enough to where we belonged that we could recognize things and figure out where we were. Now I take a map with me when I might wind up wandering around). The narrow streets can be interesting on the streets that aren’t wholly pedestrian traffic; since half of the streets aren’t really wide enough for two cars to pass each other, and many of those that are are only barely wide enough, most drivers take their half out of the middle – or the sidewalk. When you add this to the cobbled and paved streets, and the fact that many restaurants have tables outside on the street, I come to the conclusion that I’m very glad I’m not driving here.
This is a side view of a bridge that might have been the Puente Romana. I found myself wondering if the trees that grew around the bridge were the sort of willows that make the willows we have in the US weeping willows.