Because we were on a camping trip, Tasmania’s state capital, Hobart, was kind of a hit-and-run. We saw some wonderful historic places, including the shot tower, and had a couple of hours to wander through Salamanca Place, but urban environments were not our focus. As a result, I feel I really need to return to Hobart someday to give the town a bit more time—especially since it is becoming well known for the innovative chefs using high quality local ingredients in an ever-increasing number of sensational restaurants. I’d also love to browse the famous Salamanca Market, an open-air market that sprouts each Saturday on the broad plaza that stands between the rows of historic sandstone warehouse buildings and the harbor’s edge.
However, though we weren’t there long, we were there long enough to discover that Salamanca Place deserves its reputation as the local “scene,” the site of numerous delightful galleries and specialty shops, charming cafés, and a fair number of those innovative restaurants.
England’s illustrious Duke of Wellington is the source of the name of this lovely stretch of Georgian and Victorian buildings. As the hero of the Napoleonic wars in the early 1800s, his name, his title, and the names of his battles are found dotted all over the former British Empire. Here, Mount Wellington rises behind the city of Hobart, and Salamanca Place commemorates the Battle of Salamanca in Spain. (Because Hobart predates Wellington’s victories, both the mountain and the warehouse district had different names prior to the Duke’s successes. The mountain, which was first noted by Captain William Bligh when he visited Tasmania, had been known by several names, including Table Mountain, because it reminded some of Table Mountain at the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa. Salamanca Place was previously known as the Cottage Green.)
The photo below shows the stretch of Salamanca Place that faces the water, as well as part of the broad plaza that is home to the Saturday market.