When we speak of the Cathedral of Salamanca, in fact we are referring to two churches joined together. First, there is the old cathedral dating from the 12th-13th centuries; and then the new one from the 16th century.
The New Cathedral was constructed without the subsequent destruction of the old cathedral as normally happened but a wall of the new cathedral, leans on the north wall of the old one. For this reason, the old cathedral had to be reinforced, and the bell tower was constructed on the old one. You can go directly between the two cathedrals by walking through an interior door.
The main entrance to the new cathedral consists of three richly decorate arches, each leading to the three naves of the church.
The interior is notable for its fine vaulting, delicate cornices and massive pillars.
The cathedral’s vaulted stone ceilings contain graceful paintings and its sandstone walls are intricately carved.
Take a seat in the pews and look up at the beautiful dome. Zoom in for further detail.
Look around for more interesting ceiling photographs.
The massive organ is a Baroque design.
The temple’s Baroque retrochoir is another carved wooden masterpiece and contains Renaissance images of The Virgin of Loreto and Saint John the Baptist.
Walking around the naves, there is lots to photograph – several chapels with beautiful altars, church idols and tiles. Capture those little details.
I suggest that you continue your visit into the Old Cathedral where you will be amazed at a very different style to the New Cathedral (see next post)
On a separate tour, you can make your way up the many winding steps to the bell tower and walk out along the rooftops.
A bit scary at times but such amazing views of other parts of the cathedrals as well as vistas of Salamanca and the countryside beyond.
On the way up, step onto the interior balconies where you can view both the cathedrals below. This is the old cathedral.
Looking down to the New Cathedral gives you a real appreciation of the size of those columns. Try to get people in your photos for perspective here.
Cracks and broken windows are visible reminders of the devastating effects of the 1755 Lisbon (Portugal) earthquake. Whilst they seem a little confronting, I guess they have stood the test of time for over 200 years. Take some photos and continue with your climb to the top.
And finally the bells.
Time to climb back down. Quite a few very old (and narrow) staircases.