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Casa de las Conchas: Salamanca, Spain

Casa de las Conchas
Casa de las Conchas and Bell Tower

The Casa de las Conchas should be on your list of things to check out in Salamanca, Spain. The Old City of Salamanca is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and while the Shell Wall isn’t specifically, it’s centrally located and definitely worth a brief stop for at least a picture.

The Casa de las Conchas isn’t something you have to pay for, you can even enter what is now a public library for free and get out of the sun for a little bit. Surrounding the Shell Wall are a lot of cafes and bars. A really nice place for something to eat and rest your legs is Delicatessen and Café. They have breakfast combos that are a great value and the name and décor pay homage to the Marco Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet film Delicatessen(1991).

Inside Casa de las Conchas
Inside Casa de las Conchas

The Casa de las Conchas was built in the early 1500’s for a knight in the Order of Santiago (St. James) and for some, is a stop on the “Way of St. James”, or, El Camino de Santiago. El Camino de Santiago is a Catholic pilgrimage over one thousand years old with no specific starting point, but all paths eventually converge in Santiago de Compostela, the believed burial grounds of the Apostle Saint James. The wall is adorned with the scallops because the scallop is a symbol of the Saint and a metaphor for different paths coming together, like the pilgrims from all over Europe coming together in Santiago de Compostela. If you see a backpacker with a scallop shell on their bag in Europe, they are most likely either on El Camino, or have made the pilgrimage at some point. The Casa de las Conchas was a location that offered shelter to those making their pilgrimage on the route primarily from southern Spain.

Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain

Casa de las Conchas Map

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