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Salamanca is a town of around 145,000 inhabitants (2018) in western central Spain. It is the capital of Salamanca province, which is part of the autonomous region of Castile and Leon (Spanish: Castilla y León). The Romanesque, Gothic, Moorish, Renaissance and Baroque monuments in Salamanca's historic centre were added to the UNESCO world heritage list in 1988.

The city lies by the Tormes river on a plateau and is considered to be one of the most spectacular Renaissance cities in Europe. The buildings are constructed of sandstone mined from the nearby Villamayor quarry, and, as the sun begins to set, they glow gold, orange and pink. It is this radiant quality of the stones that has given Salamanca the nickname La Dorada, the golden city.

In 1218, Alfonso X of León (Alfonso the Wise) founded the university - one of the first in the world. In 1254, Pope Alexander IV called it "one of the four leading lights of the world". In 2002 Salamanca was the European Capital of Culture.

- Wikivoyage

Image by Mesut Kaya

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