Salamanca, home to the third-oldest European university, is known as ”The Golden City”.
Until stepping into Salamanca’s Plaza Mayor, a magnificent 18th-century town square built to host epic bullfights, I’d always regarded San Sebastian as the most idyllic of Spain’s many historic small cities.
Unlike its northern counterpart Salamanca does not come with surf beaches, cider houses and an international film festival, but more than compensates with splendid architecture, elegant streets and mouth-watering cuisine.
Known throughout Spain as “The Golden City” because of its honey-coloured sandstone, Salamanca has the distinction of hosting Spain’s oldest university. Founded in 1134, the University of Salamanca is the third-oldest university in Europe, after those of Bologna and Oxford.
“The university was granted a royal charter by Alfonso IX of Leon in 1218,” explains my guide Christina. “So next year marks 800 years of continuous operation. As a citizen of Salamanca I am incredibly proud of that.”
Source: Spain’s other idyllic small city