Since it was founded in 1218 the Salamanca University has registered, amongst its lecturers and students, illustrious lawyers, scientists, doctors and writers. Their work represents the most prestigious patrimony of an institution that for more than 800 years has been devoted to research and education. The University conserves the memory of some of these distinguished people by giving their names to the ancient halls of the Historic Building dominated by the well noted plateresque facade: not only the best display of this particular architecture but also the mirror, in a symbolic key, of the connection between the university, the monarchy and the papacy.
Consequently, a visit to the ancient building becomes a visit to the past, even although incomplete: there are not enough halls to remember so many famous names. There is not a hall named, for example, Ælio Antonio de Nebrija, author of the first grammar of a Vulgar language, printed in Salamanca on such an important date as 1492. Neither is there a hall for Cristopher Columbus, the famous visitor who discussed his proposals with the citys erudite. Francisco de Vitoria, Fray Luis de León, Dorado Montero, Miguel de Unamuno boast their own halls. Science innovators such as Vesalius and Copernicus found in the Salamanca University an echo for their discoveries before anywhere else. The XVII century saw the decline of the university, followed by the XVIII century reform intent and the new beginning starting from the end of the Eight-hundred and during the Nine-hundred up to our present times.
It is also our duty to remember the names of the other illustrious lecturers and students not only for the Salamanca University but also for the entire society: San Juan de la Cruz, Juan Ruiz de Alarcón, Hernán Cortés, Fernando de Rojas, Calderón de la Barca, Góngora, Conde-Duque of Olivares, Salinas, Fray Bernardino de Sahagún, Torres Villarroel, Diego de Covarrubias, Brocense
Closer to our times the following prestigious names: Enrique Tierno Galván, Alonso Zamora Vicente, Joaquín Ruiz Giménez, Rafael Lapesa, Fernando Lázaro Carreter, Miguel Artola o Francisco Tomás y Valiente. As stated before, the most valuable patrimony for an institution devoted to teaching is made up of its lecturers and students.