The History of Salamanca - By: Andrew McFarlane

Through the mists of time, Salamanca has largely featured in a leading role with respect to the most significant events that have taken place in the Kingdom of Spain. It is in Salamanca where you will find remnants of the Pre-Roman civilisation resident to this area mostly alongside the Tormes River in the town of Teso de San Vicentein. Here, an Iberian sculpture of a bull locally known as the 'Verraco' stands in the middle of a Roman viaduct.

Conquests over Salamanca

A number of conquests, all claiming control over Salamanca have taken place in the past. For the most part, it was the Arabs who conquered the city on many occasions. However, the Christians did not want to lose the city and therefore they returned in vengeful conquest missions that worked to their advantage as they managed to recapture the city. To sum up all these conquest missions, the Europeans conquered the entire expanse of Salamanca under King Alfonso VI.

Down the length of time, King Alfonso IX established a scholarly institution that later on became known as the University of Salamanca. It is with great respect that the people of the contemporary city of Salamanca pay tribute to King Alfonso IX because of the contribution of the university to the prosperity of the region within Salamanca.

The Battle of the Royalties

For the duration of the 15th century, not only Salamanca but the entire Kingdom of Spain had to come to terms with a horrendous battle between the opposing sides of the Infantes of Aragón and D. Alvaro de Luna. The battle was made worse by the regal families of Enrique and Manzano. This was subsequent to the murder of two sons of the royalty of the Enrique dynasty by a duo of brothers from the Manzano Empire. The mother of the deceased got into hot pursuit of the slayers, located them at an inn where they were having a good time. The fun did not last as she killed and took away their heads to the graveyard of the Santo Tomé convent. This was the same location where her sons had been laid to rest earlier on.

This saw the city become divided into two adversary factions, each allied to their respective royal family. The outcome was a bloodied city in due course of time where many lost their lives and livelihoods in what remains to be one of the most dreadful massacres in the kingdom of Spain.

The Peninsula War

The Peninsula War that took place between 1808 and 1811 was adverse for the inhabitants of Salamanca. German forces under the leadership of Napoleon disrupted the way of life for the residents of Salamanca and destroyed a number of educational institutes, monumental buildings and castles for the duration of the battle of Arapiles.

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