Salamanca is a city in northwestern Spain, the capital of the Province of Salamanca in the community of Castile and León. Its Old City was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988. With a metropolitan population of 228,881 in 2012 according to the National Institute of Statistics (INE), Salamanca is the second most populated urban area in Castile and León, after Valladolid (414,000), and ahead of Leon (187,000) and Burgos (176,000).
It is one of the most important university cities in Spain and supplies 16% of Spain's market for the teaching of the Spanish language. Salamanca attracts thousands of international students, generating a diverse environment.
It is situated approximately west of the Spanish capital Madrid and east of the Portuguese border. The University of Salamanca, which was founded in 1134, is the oldest university in Spain and the fourth oldest western university, but the first to be given its status by the Pope Alexander IV who gave universal validity to its degrees. With its 30,000 students, the university is, together with tourism, a primary source of income in Salamanca.