The Uni­ver­sity of Sala­manca

2018 marks the 800th an­niver­sary of the Uni­ver­sity of Sala­manca in Spain. To­gether with Ox­ford, Paris and Bologna, Sala­manca is one of the old­est uni­ver­si­ties in Europe and the third old­est uni­ver­sity in the world still in op­er­a­tion to­day

Timeless Travels Magazine - - CONTENTS -

The­uni­ver­sity was founded in 1134 and given the Royal char­ter of foun­da­tion by King Al­fonso IX in 1218. The for­mal ti­tle of Uni­ver­sity was granted by King Al­fonso X in 1254 and recog­nised by Pope Alexan­der IV in 1255.

How­ever, two hundred years elapsed be­fore the uni­ver­sity was awarded its first premises; all its teach­ing ac­tiv­i­ties were orig­i­nally car­ried out in the chapels of the Old Cathe­dral and in houses rented from the Cathe­dral chap­ter. The con­fer­rals of de­grees were still be­ing held in the chapel of Saint Bar­bara in the 19th cen­tury.

The­uni­ver­sity li­brary, which cur­rently holds over 900,000 vol­umes, was es­tab­lished in the year 1254 when the Carta Magna of Al­fonso X in­cluded the cre­ation of a Sta­tion­ary po­si­tion, i.e. the owner of a ‘sta­tion’ of books, paid for by the Uni­ver­sity and re­spon­si­ble for main­tain­ing up­dated copies for pub­lic query.

The first li­brary, con­structed above the orig­i­nal chapel, was moved when the height of the chapel was raised. The li­brary was moved to the up­per floor and fin­ished c.1512. The li­brary you see to­day dates to the 18th cen­tury.

WhenChristo­pher Colum­bus was lob­by­ing the King and Queen of Spain for a con­tract to seek out a western route to the Indies, he made his case to a coun­cil of ge­og­ra­phers at the Uni­ver­sity of Sala­manca.

In the 16th cen­tury, the moral­ity of coloni­sa­tion in the Indies was de­bated at the uni­ver­sity, along with ques­tions of eco­nom­ics, phi­los­o­phy and the­ol­ogy. Don’t miss a mu­ral known as the Sky of

Sala­manca, a paint­ing of the signs of the zo­diac which dates to 1473. It formed part of the arch of the first li­brary.

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