Salamanca is a city full of charm, culture, beauty but, besides that, this city hides among its walls many mysteries and curiosities that have become authentic tourist attractions that draw the visitor’s attention.
Probably you know that the frog is one of the icon of Salamanca, but maybe you ignore the reason why it has become so popular there. It has earned this reputation because it is one of the most searched for figure among the details of the façade of the University of Salamanca. Among the different sculpted forms, you can find a particularly curious one, a frog sitting on a skull.
The legend tells that students who want to pass their exams have to find the frog among all the details and, over the years, this led to the custom of going to look for it when someone wanted to be lucky. Nevertheless, there are also different theories about its meaning, one of them would be related to death and lust and the frog could symbolise the capital sin. Another theory says that the skull would represent the Prince Juan, son of the Catholic Kings, who died before he was 20 years old. According to this theory, through this figure they tried to send an iconographic message in order to make fun of the Inquisition.
The Cathedral of Salamanca is another emblematic building of the city that hides mysterious secrets among its walls. It is the case of the curious astronaut sculpted in the northern façade of the temple entrance, something unusual for a building built up between 1513 and 1733, when the space race was still a long way off.
This motif is not due to any visionary man of that time, but it was included in the restoration of the façade occurred in 1993, because of the exposition of the Ages of Man. Apparently, it is common to award little licenses to restorers, so they can take in some modern elements of their time and this is what the stonemason Miguel Romero incorporated.
Not very far away from the astronaut there is another peculiar figure of a smiling dragon eating a three ball ice cream, an element that probably refers to the students and that is one of the signatures left by the stonemason in charge of the restoration.
Additionally, near the Cathedral you can find the famous Cueva de Salamanca where it is said that the devil had been teaching practices related to magic and alchemy to seven students during seven years. The legend tells that, after that time, one of the students had to stay with him as a compensation for the lessons. That cave is in the place where the crypt of the Iglesia de San Cebrián was anciently located. That crypt has been demolished in the XVI century and nowadays it is one of the places that draws the attention of the visitors of Salamanca.
If you go to sightsee the beautiful city to learn about its mysteries and secrets, we recommend you to stay at the Petit Palace Las Torres Hotel in Salamanca, located in the same place and from where you will comfortably visit the main attractions of Salamanca.