Casa de las Conchas

Salamanca, Spain

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.

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Details

Founded: 1493-1517
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in Spain

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

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4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Amadeo lopez (2 years ago)
Marvelous and beautiful building, well mantained. Don't forget to visit the inside.
Hope Reynolds (2 years ago)
Our 2019 Spain travel was filled with adventure, great food & wine and history. The Shell House or Casa de las Conchas, is a historical building in Salamanca, central Spain. 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. Visit Salamanca!
Rude Boy (3 years ago)
Beautiful public library and open to the public.
Domenica Li (3 years ago)
Casa de las conchas is perhaps the most beautiful public library in the world.
Rama (3 years ago)
Other than the stunning arquitecture, both external and internal, the building is also a local library with tonnes of resources.
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The castle first mentioned in 1200 was originally owned by the King and later, at the end of the 13th century it fell in hands of Matúš Èák. Its owners alternated - at the end of the 14th century the family of Stibor of Stiborice bought it.

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The history of the castle is the subject of different legends. One of them narrates the origin of the name of castle derived from that of jester Becko for whom the Duke Stibor had the castle built.

Another legend has it that the lord of the castle had his servant thrown down from the rock because he protected his child from the lords favourite dog. Before his death, the servant pronounced a curse saying that they would meet in a year and days time, and indeed precisely after that time the lord was bitten by a snake and fell down to the same abyss.

The well-conserved ruins of the castle, now the National Cultural Monument, are frequently visited by tourists, above all in July when the castle festival takes place. The former Ambro curia situated below the castle now shelters the exhibition of the local history.