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City of Salamanca
History of Salamanca

Legends

• The Salamanca Cave

Legend tells us that this is where the Devil once taught students the art of Black Magic. It is very likely that the link between the San Ciprian church and the teachings of necromancy stem from a certain Saint Ciprian who practiced the dark arts before becoming a saint.

Night picture of the Salamanca Cave

It might seem an exaggeration, but there was a time when Salamanca was as famous for the esoteric teachings of its infamous Cave, as for the teachings of its prestigious University.

Performance at The Salamanca Cave

[Performance at The Salamanca Cave]

According to legend, the Salamanca Cave was a place where, from time immemorial – some believe that it was Hercules himself who built it – the Devil carried out necromantic rituals. The Evil one gave his sermon from the far reaches of the crypt, by the light of a flameless candle, and taking the form of a male goat or of a hand upon a chair, imparted lessons in Black Magic, prophesy, astrology and palmistry, amongst many other dark arts. There were seven students, and they studied for seven straight years. In return for classes, one of them was chosen at random remain forever in possession of the forces of hell. As was the case of the majority of travelers who visited the city, literature, especially that of the baroque genre, proliferated the legend. Even Miguel de Cervantes made it the main focus, and the title, of one of his short farces: The Salamanca Cave.

Although reality tends to be slightly more mundane, in this particular case, there are a series of coincidences that make it feasible that this was indeed an ancient and mysterious place to worship the cult. Take for example the construction of a church on the very spot of the supernatural cavern – fortuitously demolished in the 16th Century by order of the chapter. The fact that it is dedicated to Saint Ciprian, the patron saint of magic. There is even reference to it in the De disquisitionum magicarum (Investigations into Magic), the definitive work on Spanish demonology, written in 1610 by Jesuit theologian Martín del Río.

Performance at The Salamanca Cave

[Performance at The Salamanca Cave]

• Summer in the Cave:

From July 11th to September 20th 2008.
Musical performances
Saturday at 8:15 pm. Duration 50 min.
Guided theatrical tours
The War of Independence in Salamanca Fridays and Saturdays. Performances: 9:30 pm, 10:00pm and 10:30pm Intervals.
Audio-visual light show.
The Cave opening times: 10:00am to 11:00pm.