The Casa de las Conchas is a historical building in Salamanca. It currently houses a public library. It was built from 1493 to 1517 by Rodrigo Arias de Maldonado, a knight of the Order of Santiago de Compostela and a professor in the University of Salamanca. Its most peculiar feature is the façade, mixing late Gothic and Plateresque style, decorated with more than 300 shells, symbol of the order of Santiago, as well as of the pilgrims performing the Way of St. James. In the façade are also the coat of arms of the Catholic Monarchs and four windows in Gothic style, each one having a different shape. The entrance portal has the coat of arms of the Maldonado family, while in the architrave are dolphins, a Renaissance symbol of love, and vegetable elements.
The inner court is characterized, in the lower floor, by arches supported by square pilasters, while in the upper ones they are supported by shorter columns in Carrara marble.References:
The Church of St Donatus name refers to Donatus of Zadar, who began construction on this church in the 9th century and ended it on the northeastern part of the Roman forum. It is the largest Pre-Romanesque building in Croatia.
The beginning of the building of the church was placed to the second half of the 8th century, and it is supposed to have been completed in the 9th century. The Zadar bishop and diplomat Donat (8th and 9th centuries) is credited with the building of the church. He led the representations of the Dalmatian cities to Constantinople and Charles the Great, which is why this church bears slight resemblance to Charlemagne"s court chapels, especially the one in Aachen, and also to the Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna. It belongs to the Pre-Romanesque architectural period.
The circular church, formerly domed, is 27 m high and is characterised by simplicity and technical primitivism.