Published: November 19th 2008November 18th 2008
We travelled north west by bus from Madrid to Salamanca on the central plain of Castille - a journey of some 250 km. Snow was visible once we started to climb the mountains. Salamanca has a population of 160,000 people. Salamanca is one of seven World Heritage Cities in Spain with its two cathedrals and magnificant Main Square. The city hosts two universities and consequently 55% of the population is under 25 giving it a vibrant feel. 35,000 people attend the University of Salamanca and 5,000 the Pontifical University. The Salamanca University, founded in 1219, is the oldest University in Spain. The Pontifical University was founded in 1940. Its rector is an Augustinian priest. Given the service nature of the city, there is little industry in the area and very little pollution. The architecture of the city displays a Roman bridge built 2000 years ago, a completely round Church modelled on the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem and a local market, designed by Eiffel, of Eiffel Tower fame. Prominent in the city is the Dominican Church. The Dominicans were particularly influential as agents implementing the Inquisition. Columbus, for example, needed to come here to get permission from the Dominicans
before he could begin his travels to America.
The Marist Brothers run a Primary and Secondary School in 'Marist Street' in the centre of the city. There are 10 Brothers in the community, five work in the school and five are retired. The Brothers also run a Marist University Centre (CUM) on the site of the primary and secondary school in what used to be a Marist Brothers' Scholasticate. Today there are 105 young men and women residents and a Community of four Brothers including a postulant. Director is Br Paul Filguira.
The Brothers also administer the University School of Education. Mr Jose Sarrion Cayuela is the Director of the School which has 800 students studying for the Bachelor of Education. This degree is soon to move from a three to four year course.
There are more photos below