Salamanca Cathedral
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Casa De Las Conchas - Shell House

Alongside the Old Cathedral [1200s] and the New Cathedral [completed in the 1730s], there are several great buildings;the University, which dates back to the 1200’s, with it’s intricately carved facade, the Casa De Las Conchas, featuring decorative stone shells and the Casa De Las Muertas, with skulls under the windows. A further feature of the lovely stone is the beautiful Plaza Major, a colonnaded city square which rivals St. Mark’s Square in Venice for it’s loveliness.

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Casa De Las Muertos - House of the Dead

The Casa de Las Muertas features 4 stone skulls – this has propmted many myths. People imagine many things happened there, but it is a momento mori on the facade of a nobleman’s house.

The carved stones tell various stories. An intriguing image in the university facade is a carving of a skull with a frog on top. The newsagent told us this is a symbol of a person who dies a sinner. The new cathedral features two clearly recent pieces; a grotesque holding an ice-cream cone and an astronaut.

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Our Lady Of The Astronaut

The Catholic Church is ever changing, absorbing anything that comes into its path which might challenge its supremacy. The Astronaut image might seem a one off, but with Our Gargoyle of the “99” it shows a trend to update the iconography.

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Grotesque With Ice Cream Cone On Cathedral
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The Waitress - Noemi

We ask the waitress where our Rose wine comes from, she explains it’s from Navarra – like herself, a Basque. She proceeds to tell us how lovely the area is but that it is not good for young people, there’s nothing to do on weeknights except cinema. Later she brings us a hand-written list of all the best places to visit in Navarra – it is a long list, split into North, Central and Southern areas.

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The Antique Dealer - Sr Matusalen

Helen buys a small present for a friend’s birthday in an antique shop. We are fascinated by stereoscopic images of life 100 years ago. The owner sees that we like old photos and gives us a selection of pocket calendars which he produces from old photos each year.

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Flamenco Dancers

In the Plaza Major, these Flamenco dancers publicise their future performances.

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The Musician

Casa Pacos is a great bar/restaurant. It is authentic, old fashioned and romantic. The people at the bar are very varied- Helen notices one constantly tapping out a beat on his bar stool, and guesses the man is a musician – it’s true, he plays guitar and sings, but there are no gigs in the diary at the moment.

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Vittoria And Herman

At the next table an elegant couple greet and are greeted by the waiters and many other regulars. They are there every evening- Vittoria is 76, Herman is 85. They married in 1953.

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