Visiting the Casas Nobles in Salamanca

Visiting the Casas Nobles in Salamanca

Today is my second day in Salamanca for my teen summer language camp in Spain. It’s been odd adjusting to everything here. For example, right now it’s 4:30pm and everyone—and I mean everyone—is napping. Tonight with school, I’m going to see the Monumenta Salmanticae. It should be beautiful, the rest of the city is. Yesterday I went to see all of the Casas Nobles (noble houses). We visited three of them, all from the 16-18 centuries. I don’t remember what they’re called, but the stories behind each were fascinating.

On each house there is a family crest so everyone will know who owns the house (the houses were built to show power). One of them currently belongs to the wealthiest woman in Spain and is said to be haunted—but then again, isn’t every abandoned palace?  The second was covered in sea shells…it’s now a library. It was built by a man for the woman he loves. He put his family crest between two lions to show his strength—modest right?—and then he covered the outside of the building with sea shells to honor his loved one’s family, whose crest had sea shells on it. The outside represented love, but the inside, covered in snakes, represented sin.

The third was a Salina, which is basically a bank for salt. Way back when, salt was very valuable. In fact, people would put their salt in banks, as we do with money. Each of the buildings were absolutely stunning, and I’m so grateful that I have such a great opportunity to experience all of this. Well, I’m off to class again.


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