2021-06-24

Casa de las Conchas Salamanca | Spain's House of Shells

The fascinating attraction of Salamanca, Spain's House of Shells is called "Casa de las Conchas" in Spanish. This stately home was built in the early 15th or early 16th centuries and has a scallop shell carving on its facade. Talavera Maldonado was the first owner of this house. Exterior walls are decorated with scallop shell carvings as the symbol of the military Order of Santiago. Maldonado died before the construction of this house was complete. Rodrigo Arias Maldonado was his son and completed the house in 1517.

Casa de las Conchas Salamanca | Spain's House of Shells
Casa de las Conchas

Casa de las Conchas


Its facade is the most striking feature of the house. It incorporates Gothic, Renaissance, and Mudejar elements. The facade is decorated with more than 300 shells. These shells are used as a symbol for the Santiago Order and pilgrims on The Way of St. James. Each of the four Gothic windows has a different shape and contains the coat-of-arms for the Catholic Monarchs. The portal houses the Maldonado family's coat of arms, while the architrave has dolphins and other elements.

The tower, which once stood tall above the rest, was reduced to one-third of its original height. This house has a courtyard in its middle. The balconies of the courtyard are decorated with honeycomb and basketwork motifs. This is a clear example of Islamic influence. A cresting of fleurs de Lis is used to cover the roof. Gargoyles are also included. The courtyard's middle is home to a well. It was once the main water source for the whole area.

House of shells Salamanca


Casa de las Conchas is known for its long-standing legend, which states that each shell contains a gold coin or an entire ounce. Another legend says that jewels were hidden beneath the shells by the family who owned it. They recorded the amount, but could not find the shell. Anybody searching for the treasure should give the amount as a guarantee. If they find the treasure, they will get their money back. They forfeit any money they pledged.

Casa de las Conchas was last home to the administrator of the Count de Santa Coloma. Later, it was used as Menendez Pelayo College headquarters. This lasted until 1960. Santa Coloma, the count, was the original owner of the house and granted it to the city council as a 99-year lease at a symbolic cost of one gold peseta. Casa de las Conchas today is home to a public library.
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Casa de las Conchas Salamanca | Spain's House of Shells
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Casa de las Conchas Salamanca | Spain's House of Shells
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Casa de las Conchas Salamanca | Spain's House of Shells
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Casa de las Conchas Salamanca | Spain's House of Shells
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Casa de las Conchas Salamanca | Spain's House of Shells
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Casa de las Conchas Salamanca | Spain's House of Shells
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Casa de las Conchas | Salamanca, Spain - Video

Casa de las Conchas Salamanca | Spain's House of Shells
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Casa de las Conchas Salamanca | Spain's House of Shells
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Casa de las Conchas Salamanca | Spain's House of Shells
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Casa de las Conchas google Map

Casa de las Conchas Salamanca | Spain's House of Shells
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