Salamanca is still a university town. In the sixteen century the university was attracting so many people the city outgrew its cathedral, originally built in the 1100’s. In 1509 King Ferdinand ordered the architects who had designed the cathedrals in Toledo and Seville to go to Salamanca to draw up plans for a bigger cathedral. They kept the old one open for the faithful and spent two centuries constructing a new one, one of the largest in Spain, and then decided to keep the old one standing. The two share a wall.
Portions of a Roman bridge still stand over the river and the old city sits like a sandstone fortress on a hill. We spent the day walking into the Plaza Mayor and out a different exit each time only to wander on the ancient streets and return to the Plaza. If I was going back to school I would do a year abroad here.