The University of Salamanca, located in the town of Salamanca, west of Madrid and close to Portugal, is the oldest university in Spain and one of the oldest in Europe.
The university was founded as a “General School of the kingdom” by Alfonso IX King of Leon, in 1218. On the basis of a papal bull by Alexander IV in 1225, the school obtained the title of University, the first in Europe. (The older Spanish “Estudio general de Palencia”, which soon disappeared, never received the title of University). This foundation did not last and the university was refounded by Alfonso’s son, St. Ferdinand III King of Castile and Leon, in 1243.