Casa de las Conchas (House of Shells), Salamanca

Casa de las Conchas (House of Shells), Salamanca (must see)

The House of Shells (Casa de las Conchas) is a reflection of the intellectual awakening and architectural expansions of the Renaissance in Spain. It was built by Rodrigo Maldonado de Talavera, a jurist, chancellor of the Order of Santiago, and rector of the University of Salamanca. The urban palace towers of the nobility rose high above other city structures.

The building is a blend of Gothic, Renaissance, and Mudejar influences. The most striking effect is in the facade. It is adorned with over 300 shells, coats of arms, and escutcheons. This adorning is a characteristic of a Renaissance wall. The building facade is novel in the arrangement of the shells in the Mudejar rhombus fashion.

The main entrance has the Maldonado coat of arms in an ornate pediment over an array of dolphins. There are also four large Gothic-style windows and a stately tower. The inside patio combines Mudejar and Renaissance elements. There are galleries of mixtilinear arches and white marble columns with flowery capitals.

The balconies are Mudejar. The roof is crested with flowers and gargoyles. In the center of the courtyard is a well. Some say that the order of the shells (a symbol of the Pimentels) was a sign of the love of Don Rodrigo for his consort, Dona Juana. Another myth says the family hid their jewels under some of the shells.

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Casa de las Conchas (House of Shells) on Map

Sight Name: Casa de las Conchas (House of Shells)
Sight Location: Salamanca, Spain (See walking tours in Salamanca)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Salamanca, Spain

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