Monuments of Salamanca (III)

Monastery of San Esteban

This convent in the Spanish Plateresque style lies across the small bridge leading from the Plaza Concilio de Trento and was built in the XVIth century by Juan de Alava in the shape of a Latin cross. The convent is decorated inside with beautiful crucifixes, paintings, reliquaries and you can also find the Bible that Pope Luna gave to Saint Vicente Ferrer. Its construction began in 1524. It has a single broad nave and side chapels enclosed in its buttresses. The dome, with its square lantern and set with large windows, is thanks to Juan de Ribero. Framed by the barley-sugar columns of the high altar by Churriguera, is Claudio Coello's painting of the Martyrdom of St. Stephen. Outside, the portico leading to the Kings cloister dating from the mid XVIth century is reminiscent of an Italian loggia. The inner courtyard is a beautiful combination of Gothic and Renaissance styles. Among the rooms not to be missed are the Salón de Profundis, where Columbus conversed with the Dominicans about his voyage to the West Indies, and the Pantheon of the Theologians. The church holds impressive cloisters, a pantheon of tombs and a museum where XVIth century choir books are displayed. The church is dominated by a Churriguera altarpiece, which is a textbook example of the style named after him, “Churrigueresco”. Under the sheltering umbrella with its triumphal arch, is a façade with a retable of stone. It is divided into groups and rows where soft foliated lines of Plateresque grotesque mix have a pronounced relief of free-standing statues of saints. Central and located above the doorway is Martyrdom of St. Stephen (1610) by Ceroni, and directly above this is a Calvary scene.

House of Shells "Casa de las Conchas"

The house of Shells (Casa de las Conchas) gained its name from its façade which is decorated in shells. This building is from the late XVth century and is one of the finest examples of XVth century Gothic civil buildings with evident traces of Italian Renaissance influence. Other architectural styles evident include a late Gothic style with Renaissance elements. The façade is decorated in more than 300 scallop shells because its first owner, Rodrigo Árias, was a member of the Order of Santiago (shells are traditionally associated with St. James, Santiago). Amongst the shells are beautifully paired Isabeline windows and two exquisite Gothic grilles. The inner courtyard is framed with particular arches, which has now become a typical style of Salamanca, known as Salmantino. The building now houses the local Tourist Information Office Its construction began in 1524. It has a single broad nave and side chapels enclosed in its buttresses. The dome, with its square lantern and set with large windows, is thanks to Juan de Ribero. Framed by the barley-sugar columns of the high altar by Churriguera, is Claudio Coello's painting of the Martyrdom of St. Stephen. Outside, the portico leading to the Kings cloister dating from the mid XVIth century is reminiscent of an Italian loggia. The inner courtyard is a beautiful combination of Gothic and Renaissance styles. Among the rooms not to be missed are the Salón de Profundis, where Columbus conversed with the Dominicans about his voyage to the West Indies, and the Pantheon of the Theologians. The church holds impressive cloisters, a pantheon of tombs and a museum where XVIth century choir books are displayed. The church is dominated by a Churriguera altarpiece, which is a textbook example of the style named after him, “Churrigueresco”. Under the sheltering umbrella with its triumphal arch, is a façade with a retable of stone. It is divided into groups and rows where soft foliated lines of Plateresque grotesque mix have a pronounced relief of free-standing statues of saints. Central and located above the doorway is Martyrdom of St. Stephen (1610) by Ceroni, and directly above this is a Calvary scene.

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