The Main Square of Salamanca was built by the architect Alberto Churriguera in Salamanca, Spain, as an imitation of the Main Square of Madrid, but as Churriguera died before, Andrés García de Quiñones finished the square. It belongs to the Baroque period in the Hispanic Monarchy and its construction was agreed in 1710 while Philip V was staying in Salamanca. He wanted to reward the city for its loyalty in the War of Spanish Succession. The construction started in 1729 and it ended in 1755. The built of the Square was commissioned by the Gentleman Mayor Rodrigo y Llanes and the main function of the Square was to regularize the space and at the same time to create a place for public meetings. The material used for the building was the stone from Villamayor (this was a very usual material used in buildings because it was very easy to manipulate)
Churriguera’s work of art has a trapezoidal shape (it isn’t a perfect square), the area is about 6,500 m2 and it has 3 floors. In the facade, there are a total of 88 semicircular arches which have 89 medallions. These medallions have the faces of some kings, conquistadors… All of them were made by the sculptor Alejandro Carnicero. Talking about the facade, we appreciate that the wall has a total of 247 balconies and that it has a lot of ornamental motifs: medallions, canopies… so, this made the Main Square of Salamanca’s façade a more decorative facade that the one of the Main Square of Madrid.
As the Churriguera’s work belongs to the Baroque period, we can appreciate some of the characteristics of the buildings of this period, for example:
- Decorative exuberance in the interior and the exterior of the building
- There are curved lines
- The statues in the roof, the facade, the balconies... all this has Baroque features.
- Some columns have Corinthian style
- The building has uniformity and homogeneity (except the town hall)
- Other Baroque features are the semicircular pediments over the windows and the grandeur or majesty of the bug square, similar to French Baroque.
(I have made the red circles and the information on the white gaps)
But The Main Square of Salamanca has also some features that aren't the ones of the Baroque, for example some columns inspired in the classical era and the type of floor plan wasn't typical of the Baroque.
- Book of “Artis, Historia del Arte (Bachillerato Segundo Curso)”
- “Espasa enciclopedia”