10 Must-Visit Art Galleries In Salamanca, Spain

Jessica Woodward

Salamanca may be a small city, but it has plenty to offer contemporary art enthusiasts. From grand galleries housed in awe-inspiring buildings to independent, off-the-beaten-track exhibition spaces, here are ten of the best venues in which to explore the work of prestigious Spanish and international artists.

Salamanca

1. Sala de Exposiciones de la Casa de las Conchas

Building

Sala de Exposiciones de la Casa de las Conchas
© Cruccone/WikiCommons
One of Salamanca’s most memorable sights, the Casa de las Conchas should not be omitted from any itinerary. After admiring the building’s unique 15th-century façade covered in chunky stone seashells (conchas), visitors should enter the pillared courtyard and ascend the stairs at the back to the upper gallery, which serves as a special exhibition venue. Admire paintings, photographs and sculptures by respected Spanish and international figures. Exhibitions change regularly, often corresponding with seasons or local festivals.

2. Casa-Museo Zacarías González

Museum

Worth seeking out in its slightly off-the-beaten-track location, this museum pays tribute to perhaps Salamanca’s most famous modern artist, Zacarías González (1923-2003). This painter (who should not be confused with Zacarías González Velázquez, a prominent figure in 18th and 19th century Spanish art) was born in the city and felt a strong attachment to it throughout his life, which the city authorities reciprocated, awarding him the Medalla de Oro de Salamanca (Gold Medal of Salamanca) in 1986. His reputation extended well beyond his native area, however, with his works being exhibited in several European countries and in Latin America.The museum is inside the house he shared with his sister Basilisa for 22 years and most rooms have been preserved as they were in his lifetime. The experience therefore carries a double attraction for the visitor: not only can you enjoy a permanent exhibition of some of Zacarías González’s excellent paintings, but you will also have the unique opportunity of seeing them in the context where they were created.

3. Museo del Hormigón

Building, Museum

Museum of Concrete, Salamanca
Photo: Wikipedia Commons
For those who are willing to venture a little further during their stay, this unusual museumis situated in the village of Doñinos, about seven kilometers to the west of Salamanca. It is dedicated to the work of the sculptor Ángel Mateos (1931-present), whose highly regarded constructions in concrete (hormigónin Spanish) can be seen in a variety of locations across Spain. Housed in one of his actual sculptures, meant to represent an ants’ nest, the museum has three rooms, each of which contains scale models of some of his greatest achievements. Visitors interested in getting a glimpse of the output of one of Spain’s most admired sculptors should not miss this.

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