Haven in Salamanca

In Spain you can’t miss Salamanca.
Of course you have to see its historical centre with the cathedral, many glorious university buildings, palaces and its fascinating museums.However sometimes you need a break from any city; its noise, its crowd and tourists.
Somewhere in this impressive city is an oasis of peace and beauty.
Let me first tell you a story before I reveal more..IMG_1433.JPG

Fernando de Rojas wrote “La Celestina”
(originally titled Tragicomedia de Calisto y Melibea) when he was still a student in Salamanca. It was published in 1499 during the transition between the Spanish Middle Ages and the Renaissance. It was considered bold and modern for its time.

The story tells of a love affair between a noble bachelor Calisto with Melibea, an unmarried girl kept in seclusion by her parents. The affair is arranged by an old woman, Celestina which has since become the Spanish word synonymous with procuress. The two lovers used to meet in a garden at the edge of a wall, where the tragedy ends with Calisto falling off the wall and then Melibea killing herself. A sort of Romeo and Juliet if you prefer, even though that one was written a century later.

Hidden behind the cathedral on the south east edge of the wall is  the fictional garden “huerto de Calisto and Melibea” referring to “the Celestina” story. The garden was inaugurated in 1981 in honour of the twin-ship between the towns of Coimbra (Portugal) and Salamanca.
At the entrance of the garden is a statue of Celestina with the quote from the book “I am an old woman as God made me, by far not the worst. If I live well or badly God is the witness of my heart.”

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The Renaissance style garden has beautiful parterres of flowers, ornamented with trees, bushes and vine arches, decorated with fountains and even a well in between its paths of gravel and cobblestones. It borders the Roman wall and fine ironwork frames it.
It is a refuge for poets, romantics, music players, readers and anyone looking for tranquility in a picturesque environment.

Getting there:
C/ Arcediano. Plaza de los Leones s/n
Go to the Casa Lis Museum (of modern art) continue walking along the road until you will find a little square where there is a pilgrims refuge. Entrance is free, from 10:00 until sunset.
Salamanca is less than 3 hours from Madrid, you can get there by train or bus

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