Villamayor Stone (Golden Stone)


Cathedral, Salamanca, Spain

Local native name

Arenisca de Villamayor

Year designation



Sandstone; Arkose, fine to medium -grained, besides quartz and feldspar containing phyllosilicates, Fe-oxihydroxides and locally dolomite


White to ocher and red, developing an ochreous/golden patina

Geological settings

Cenozoic – Middle Eocene – Cabrerizos Sandstone Formation; in the Duero Cenozoic Basin


Villamayor de Armuña, Salamanca

Cathedral, Salamanca, Spain

Soul of Salamanca

The particular charm of a city is a product of the geological environment in which it is located. In the case of Salamanca, Spain, which was declared a World Heritage City by UNESCO in 1988, the singular beauty of the city is provided by the Golden Stone which is extensively used throughout the city center. Villamayor Stone was quarried and used in the construction of Romanesque monuments such as the Old Cathedral, Gothic monuments including the New Cathedral and the University facade, and Baroque monuments, notably the Main Square. Also, Villamayor Stone was used in the reconstruction of the Roman Bridge. Currently, Villamayor Stone is quarried by a small number of family businesses, using traditional methods for cladding facades of new buildings. Unfortunately, part of the construction sector went bankrupt in the 2008 crisis. However, Villamayor Stone is still the main stone used in the city of Salamanca for the restoration of monuments, even though used in relatively small quantities in comparison with usage before the economic crisis.

Roman Bridge, Salamanca, Spain

Colegio Arzobispo Fonseca, Salamanca, Spain

Jacinta García-Talegón