jueves, 26 de marzo de 2015

THE FIRST SETTLEMENTS AND THE CATHEDRAL BUILDERS

 In October we went on a tour around the old part of Salamanca. We want to share what we learnt with you.

Alumnos-as 2º ESO B


 THE FIRST SETTLERS

 The first settlers in the area date back to about 2000 b.C. Different tribes lived here. Next Greeks and Carthaginians inhabited the town. The first settlement was in Teso de San Vicente. There you can see the remains of vacceo’s villages from the sixth and seventh centuries. The monastery of Benedictine monks of San Vicente was in the Teso de San Vicente. It is the oldest part in the city.

THE VERRACO

 People think the Verraco is a pig, but others think it is a bull. This Verraco is the oldest sculpture in Salamanca. It is very famous in Spain. The strangest thing is that the Verraco was exhibited in other places. Once it was thrown into the river. There are many different theories about its meaning. It may have a mystical or religious meaning.

THE STATUE OF LAZARILLO DE TORMES

 The statue of Lazarillo de Tormes is in Salamanca, next to the Roman Bridge and the River Tormes. It is a very important monument. It is a sculpture, with two people (the Lazarillo and the blind), it is very beautiful. The statue of Lazarillo de Tormes and the blind represents two characters from a book set in Salamanca. Its name is “El Lazarillo de Tormes”.

THE DOOR OF HANNIBAL

 The remains of the door of Hannibal or Hercules are the oldest in the city. The legend says the Carthaginian general entered Salamanca through it. When the French were there, they decided to demolish it and open a shortcut from the bridge to the University door, to avoid the large gap that existed in the area, but the project was never started. The arc of the door disappeared in the late nineteenth century, but you can see the remains.

TENTENECIO STREET

 A popular legend says that Tentenecio Street is called Tentenecio because long ago Saint Juan de Sahagún was walking along this street and a big bull approached him. It had escaped from the market and was running madly. Sahagún shouted "tente,necio!!" and the bull amazingly, stopped, that´s the reason why this street is called Tentenecio. This was thought to be a miracle, a wonderful and surprising event that is believed to be caused by God. Saint Juan de Sahagún made a miracle when he stopped the bull on Tentenecio Street.

THE WEATHERVANE ATOP THE DOME

On the weathervane you can see a cock. In fact the tower is called the Cock Tower. It belongs to the Old Cathedral of Salamanca. It is one of the most beautiful domes (cimborrios) in our country. This tower is very famous and symbolizes the vigilance of the soul and the coming of Christ.

1775 LISBON EARTHQUAKE

On October, 31st, 1775 there was an earthquake. This earthquake took place in Lisbon.After this earthquake there was a tsunami (a gigant wave). In Salamanca people hid in the New Cathedral. The Cathedral Tower was badly damaged. Every year on October, 31st a man called the Mariquelo climbs up the tower and he prays that this horrible event won’t happen again.

Hare and stork
SAINT MARTIN’S CHAPEL

Saint Martín’s chapel is under the Bells Tower. In the chapel there are many mural paintings. They tell the story of Saint Martín’s life. There is also a church of St. Martín which is in Corrillo Square, next to the Main Square.

THE COAT OF ARMS OF CASTILLA Y LEÓN

In this chapel you can find the coat of arms of Castilla y León too. It’s believed that King Alfonso VII designed the lion and King Alfonso VIII designed the castle. King Fernando III united the kingdoms as well as the symbols.

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE OLD AND NEW CATHEDRALS

The most important is the year when they were built: the Old Cathedral (XIII th Century) is older than the New Cathedral ( XVII th Century). The New Cathedral is bigger than the Old Cathedral, but the Old Cathedral is more beautiful and simpler than the new one.  The Old Cathedral was built in romanesque style and the New Cathedral in the gothic and baroque styles.

 THE CIMBORRIO LOOKS LIKE A PIECE OF FRUIT CUT IN HALF

 The Cimborrio of the Old Cathedral of Salamanca looks like an orange. The Cimborrio (dome) has got an octagonal body, a cylindrical tambour with big windows. The dome of the Cimborrio is called “gallonada”.

 THE ALTARPIECE

 53 tablets make up the altarpiece which depicts the life of Jesus and the Virgin Mary. They were made by Nicolás Florentino. Some of the tables are inspired and show the image of the Virgin of the Vega, the patron saint of Salamanca.

THE CRAYFISH, STORK, HARE AND THE ASTRONAUT

The astronaut
You can find them carved on the doorway known as “Puerta de Ramos” (New Cathedral). They are symbols for Salamanca. You can easily see them here. They represent land, water and air. Next to them you can see an astronaut. One of the artisans in charge of the restoration wanted to add a symbol of the 20th century.

  

We liked this tour because we could learn many things about our city. The teacher spoke in English and it was not easy, but we enjoyed it very much. We liked walking on the tombs too, it was very funny.

                                                                                   ALUMNOS/AS  2º ESO B