Salamanca, Spain

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Plaza Mayor

Top choice in Salamanca

Built between 1729 and 1755, Salamanca's exceptional grand square is widely considered to be Spain's most beautiful central plaza. It's particularly memorable at night when illuminated (until midnight) to magical effect. Designed by Alberto Churriguera, it's a remarkably harmonious and controlled baroque display. The medallions placed around the square bear the busts of famous figures.

Bullfights were held here well into the 19th century; the last ceremonial corrida (bullfight) took place in 1992.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Salamanca attractions

1. Museo Taurino

0.05 MILES

Salamanca lies in one of Spain's bullfighting heartlands: this small museum is packed with bullfighting memorabilia. It was closed for renovations at the…

2. Iglesia de San Martín

0.06 MILES

Romanesque Iglesia de San Martín is wedged among houses, but is a pretty encore to the adjacent Plaza Mayor. The south portal in particular is worth…

3. Palacio de Monterrey

0.14 MILES

From the southwestern corner of Plaza Mayor, Calle del Prior leads to the Palacio de Monterrey, a 16th-century royal holiday home and a seminal piece of…

4. Torre del Clavero

0.16 MILES

This 15th-century octagonal fortress has an unusual square base and smaller cylindrical towers.

5. Convento y Museo de las Úrsulas

0.18 MILES

A late-Gothic nunnery founded by Archbishop Alonso de Fonseca in 1512, the religious museum here is fairly modest, with some interesting paintings by Juan…

6. Casa de las Conchas

0.18 MILES

One of the city's most endearing buildings, Casa de las Conchas is named after the 300 scallop shells clinging to its facade. The house's original owner,…

7. Real Clerecía de San Marcos

0.21 MILES

Visits to this colossal baroque church and the attached Catholic university are via obligatory guided tours (in Spanish), which run every 45 minutes. You…

8. Convento de las Dueñas

0.27 MILES

This Dominican convent is home to the city's most beautiful cloister, with some decidedly ghoulish carvings on the capitals.