Postcard from Salamanca, Spain: Loving the luxury of time to gaze at little things…

Not surprisingly, we are not the only tourists in Spain. But so many visitors are forced to spread their time thinly, they often shortchange a place such as Salamanca, making it a quick day-trip.

This means you can visit a little gem such as the Convento de las Duenas virtually alone. You can stroll through slowly admiring the quirky grotesque carvings atop the columns and pausing before the collection of reliquaries containing bits and pieces of clothing of saints, or even parts of saints themselves.

In 1419, an aristocratic woman donated her palace for the Dominican order to found a convent suitable for admission of women from noble families, leading to the word “duenas” for describing the residents of the convent. Construction of the convent and the adjoining church took a little more than a century, resulting in a seemingly whimsical combination of Moorish, Gothic and Plateresque details.

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