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House of the Shells: Raking view of facade with shells and window ornamentation
Architecture Library, Hesburgh Libraries
It was built from 1493 to 1517 by Rodrigo Arias de Maldonado, a knight of the Order of Santiago de Compostela and a professor in the University of Salamanca. Its most peculiar feature is the façade, mixing late Gothic and Plateresque style, decorated with more than 300 shells, symbol of the order of Santiago, as well as of the pilgrims performing the Way of St. James. On the façade are also the coat of arms of the Catholic Kings. The entrance portal has the coat of arms of the Maldonado family, while in the architrave are dolphins, a Renaissance symbol of love, and vegetal elements. The inner courtyard has a double arcade. It houses a public library today.