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The city of Salamanca is considered by many to be the home to the purest form of the Spanish language and today this attracts travelers from all over the world who want to learn the Latin-based language.
Salamanca was built by the early Celtic tribes of the Iberian Peninsula, and then became an important Roman trading center. Salamanca is also renowned world wide as one of the most beautiful Renaissance cities in all of Europe, and today is known far and wide as the “Golden City.”
The city’s Romanesque cathedral was constructed in the 12th and 13th centuries, and its design was clearly inspired by the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople, just another example of how this most Western of European nations at times has a feel that is distinctly Eastern as well. The nearby new cathedral, built in the 16th century, offers a contrasting style of Gothic and early Renaissance design. This holy place is today the home of the bronze crucifix that was carried into battle by the forces of El Cid during the early Spanish Reconquesta. During the early Renaissance Salamanca was also the site to the first Christian university in Spain.
Not all of Salamanca’s cultural centers are from it old past. The city is also home to the Archivo General de la Guerra Civil Espanola, which is the archive for the Spanish Civil War. This was assembled during the rule of Fascist dictator Francisco Franco.