Salamanca is known as "La Dorada", or "Golden City", because of the golden glow of its sandstone buildings. This charming town is untouched in its architectural purity. It is one of the five Spanish cities declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Sala- manca boasts a student population of almost 35,000 (approximately 6,000 of whom are foreigners) which provides a lively atmosphere and nightlife.
The Roman Bridge used to be the main entrance into Salamanca. It was an essential part of the Roman Silver Route (la Ruta de la Plata), which ran from the silver mines in the North, in Astorga, to Mérida. On "El Puente Romano", only the first 15 arches nearest to the city are original, the remainder having been swept away by a flood in 1626. They are made of rustic granite masonry and seated on pillars with cutwaters directed against the river's flow.