After visiting the New Cathedral, one may be a little tired and overwhelmed, but what a surprise to step through the door into this Old Cathedral. It was built in the Romanesque style at the end of the 12th Century.
So old but incredibly well preserved. Now where to start.
The apse houses a large cycle of 53 tableaux depicting the life of Jesus and the Virgin Mary. A fresco of the Final Judgement is over them. Take the full picture then zoom in on the top and some individual frescoes.
The Old Cathedral attracts the eye of the visitor due to the beautiful tombs of the bishops’ and members of the nobility to be found inside.
I just loved these little statues high up above the alcove.
There is just so much to see here. Spend time walking around the interior of the church photographing the beautiful old painted walls of the San Martin or Oil Chapel. Zoom in close to individual paintings if you can.
Take a seat in the pews and just admire the immensity of this very old church.
Visit the attached museum to see more artefacts and of course some wonderful church idols.
These were carvings on some doors.
The Gothic cathedral underwent restoration work in 1992. It is a generally a tradition of cathedral restorers to add details or new carvings to the facade as a sort of signature. In this case the now famous astronaut floating among the vines draws in the crowds. It is actually quite small, and one would have to know about it to actually see it.
There is also a dragon/monkey/fawn (depending on how you interpret it) eating an icecream, a bull, stork, rabbit and a crayfish. I knew about the astronaut but not the others.
Take time to walk right around both cathedrals. One can’t help but be impressed by the many red doors. As these are not usually entrances, they are closed and make great photos.
If you still have the time, I recommend that you visit the cloisters of the cathedral.
You can walk around the simple manicured grounds of the courtyard before visiting the verandahs of both levels.
One interesting aspect of this place is the cleverly positioned mirrors that have you looking into them to see what is above. A great idea.
Seeing the shadows cast along the corridors made for some interesting photos as well.
Look out through the arches to see other parts of the building.
As usual the ceilings and floors were great photographic opportunities as were some of the lights.
There are lots of rooms visit as well as a museum of artefacts that were unrelated to the cathedral but interesting nonetheless.
Getting lots of angles of the staircase proved interesting as I waited patiently for people to move from the stairs. Look right up to the ceiling, under the staircase and then down to the old stone floor below.
One interesting part of the staircase was the carved figurine “lying” just under the balustrade. Unusual to say the least.
There are many vantage points to view the cathedrals, none better though than from the opposite side of the river. We were lucky to view this in the late afternoon light. So majestic.
So, there is so much to see. We spent most of the morning in the cathedrals and cloisters, then the afternoon visiting the rooftop, before walking around Salamanca and across the Roman bridge to the other side. Totally recommend visiting all of these places if you like churches. But there is a lot more to see in Salamanca as well. Great place to visit.