Casa de las Conchas or House of Cockleshells is one of the most famous architectural symbols of Salamanca. This building was built in expressive Gothic style between 1493 and 1517. It was built by Don Rodrigo Aries de Maldonado, that gentleman was the Knight of Order of Santiago and the same time he was the professor of local university. Although military order of Santiago used as its symbol red cross-sword of Santiago or Saint James the Apostle, another symbol of that Saint was the cockleshell. The cockleshell is also the symbol of pilgrimage and pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela. That’s why this house is decorated with more that three hundred cockleshells. Speaking honestly I never tried to count them. Of course you will find heraldic escutcheons with coat of arms of Maldonado family over the entrance.
Nowadays you are going to find the Salamanca public library in this wonderful building.
Extra ordinary building, took its name because of its facade decorated with shells made of stone
This was constructed during the 15th century. The architecture includes Gothic, Moorish and Italian styles
Between all these shells, you can enjoy a wonderful window into Isabella-style and two beautiful gothic grids
In total, there are approximately 400 shells on the exterior of the building
Some say that the shells are either a symbol of love or just a decorative addition to the outside of the building
The courtyard is surrounded by very special arches, which are so characteristic of Salamanca. Inside the building contains the tourist office.
When we, coming from Brussels, discovered at night, with floodlights playing on the façade, the "shell house" with all tourists around, it appeared to us that we were viewing the most touristic emblem of Salamanca.
Manneke Pis of Brussels is nuts compared to this façade covered with scallop shells referring to the order of Los Caballeros de Santiago - Order of St James (ref. my tip on Santiago de Compostela) to which belonged Rodrigo Maldonado de Talavera, rector of the university, who build this building mixing late Gothic and Plateresque style from 1493 to 1517.
I'm not going to write more about the architecture because what really interests me is the number of conchas - shells on the façade. It seems that nobody was able to count them exactly.
On VT I read 300, the Michelin Guide Vert (a reference in Europe) mentions 400, the Spanish Wikipedia writes "más de 300 conchas", but more than 300 is not satisfactory for a scientist like me.
If you find the exact figure please inform me (I will not send you a VT flag by way of thanks but a bottle of Rioja).
The Casa de las Conchas (House of Shells) is Gothic style building. The construction begun at the end of the 15th century, although it also has Renaissance and Mudejar elements. It belongs to what is known as Isabelline art. This fantastic building has over 300 shells on the walls.
Right now, it houses the public library and a Tourism Office.
The façade of this house is decorated with stone shells.
The construction of the house began in 1493. The house was built in gothic style, ordered by a Knight of the Order of Saint James of Compostela.
Today it belongs to the State and houses a public library.
The House of Shells, distinctive because of the scallop shells decorating its facade, dates from the late 15th century.
The scallop shells are the sign of the Knightly order of Santiago (St James). The builder of the house (Rodrigo Arias de Maldonado) was of that order.
This is the most famous Renaissance era mansion. It is decorated with sea shells (conchas), and now houses a library. It was built in the XV century by Don Rodrigo Arias de Maldonado, caballero de Santiago.
Это - самый знаменитый дворец эпохи Реннесанса, украшен морскими гребешками (conchas), и в данный момент является библиотекой. Построен в XV веке Доном Родриго Ариас Де Мальдонадо, кавалером Сантьяго.
The Casa de las Conchas ("Shell house") is in my opinion one of the most interesting buildings of Salamanca, built in 1493-1517.
Its façade is covered with over 300 scallop shells, the symbol of Saint James the Great (one of the twelve Apostles) and of all the pilgrims who walk along the Way of Saint James or camino de Santiago in Spanish. This is a long way connecting France and the rest of Europe to the Spanish city of Santiago de Compostela, where is kept the shrine of the Saint. It passes across many Spanish cities including Salamanca.
The two lions with the sheld are also symbols of the Order of Santiago. The Spanish teachers who accompanied us students in the guided tour explained to us what the particular form of the sheld means, but I don't remember it.
Today, the building houses a library and the tourist office. Follow me inside.
Cross the gate of the "Shell house" and you'll be in this beautiful patio. You should observe the double raw of arches (notice that the lower raw is built in a different style from the upper row), supported by columns in Carrara marble. The sculptures of the lion and of the sheld I described in the tip about the façade are repeated many times on the walls of the garden. The towers of the new cathedral can be seen beyond the roof. Another interesting architectural feature is the staircase, which I didn't photograph, though.
The House of Shells started as just a residence for a university professor, but today it endures as one of the very symbols of the city. it was built around 1500 for Dr. Rodrigo Modonado de Talavera who was a professor of medicine at the University of Salamanca, which is the oldest school in Spain. Talavera was affiliated with the Order of St. James, whose symbol was the shell, therefore the architectural motif was adopted here.
I went inside the building which is now used as a public library.
The Casa de las Conchas is one of the landmarks of Salamanca. Its a Gothic building with Plateresque elements. The construction started in 1493 and was completed in 1503. The shells and the lilies are the symbols of the two families who built this house. Now it is in use as a public library.
We then walk to the Casa de las Conchas (House of Shells), decorated by over 300 carved scallop shells. A very interesting and unique building, the Casa de las Conchas now houses the Tourist Information Office and a library.
Monday to Friday, from 9:00 to 21:00. Saturdays from 9:00 to 14:00 and from 16:00 to 19:00. Sundays, from 10:00 to 14:00 and from 16:00 to 19:00.