Santillana del Mar, the town of the three lies

We talk about Santillana del Mar, but it is not holy ... nor flat ... nor does it have a sea. That's why she is called a liar! This villa, located on the western coast of Cantabria, was declared a Historic-Artistic Site in 1889 and is one of the most visited places in the entire community. Santillana del Mar It is a tourist town that will surprise you. Let yourself be trapped by its history and its beauty.

Santillana del Mar, a beautiful town

Santillana del Mar - Manuel Alvarez

Since 2013 it is a component of the network of “most beautiful villages in Spain”, and he really deserves it.

That site, which during the Roman conquest was called Planes (clear place between mountains in Latin), was really important along the history. In 1228 he was baptized as Villa de Sancta Illana, which would later become Santayllana and finally Santillana. "Del Mar" is annexed by its proximity to the Cantabrian Sea.

The High Middle Ages was the one that gave all its importance and distinction to Santillana del Mar. The foundation is associated with the monks and the abbey of Santa Juliana. He obtained privileges of different kings and the development of the town, with its Plaza Mayor, dating from the thirteenth century.

Typical architecture - Jose Angel Astor Rocha

Most of the houses we can see today were built between the 16th and 17th centuries and they follow the same typology: two floors, open front and rear spaces, corral, balconies and blazons. The essence of Santillana is baroque. On the outskirts of the town there are religious buildings (convents, hospitals and collegiate church).

Santillana del Mar, between caves and convents

If we talk about this villa, without a doubt, we must name the beautiful caves of Altamira, the “Sistine chapel” of rock art, which were discovered in 1868 and are about 14,000 years old. They are located 2 kilometers from Santillana.

If we go in the direction of the sea we can enjoy some quiet beaches: Ubiarco and Santa Justa.

But beyond the caves and beaches, we can find other important places during our stay.One of them is the collegiate church of Santa Juliana (former monastery), with a beautiful 12th century cloister. It was erected on an old hermitage and has three apses, three ships and a cruise ship. A triangular pediment and a gallery of 15 arches with 3 cylindrical towers form a beautiful architectural ensemble.

Church of Santillana del Mar - Francisco Javier Gil

The towers of Don Borja and Merino are the oldest civil constructions and you can reach them by walking along the cobbled streets. Very close there are the houses of the Eagle, Parra (now an exhibition hall) and Leonor de La Vega; also the Tagle, Villa and Barreda palaces and several museums walking along Canton Street.

«Oh, Santillana del Mar! / Liar people call you; / however, today I have only seen you / saint in your Collegiate Church / flanked by two lions; / the sea, in your green meadows / tumbling on all sides; / flat, in the affable treatment / of all your people. »

-Fidel Hernánadez-

Santo Domingo street leads to Ramón y Pelayo square (the main one in Santillana) triangular in shape with the town hall, the house of Barreda-Bracho of the 18th century and noble and lineage dwellings of the Middle Ages.

The Heritage of Santillana del Mar

Santillana del Mar - Jose Angel Astor Rocha

As if all we have told you that you can know in your passage through this beautiful villa is not enough, keep in mind that you will be within a renowned historical-artistic ensemble with many wonderful corners. Among the buildings highlighted by this honorable distinction we find:

  • Palacio Valdivieso (now Altamira Hotel), which dates from 1710 and has a coat of arms in the corner.
  • Palacio de Velarde (or Las Arenas) in the Plaza de Armas, in Gothic style and whose construction is from the 15th century.
  • Collegiate Church of Santa Juliana, which follows the Romanesque model of the Camino de Santiago.
  • Houses of the Quevedo and the Cossío (of the XVII and XVIII centuries) that form a single house by their square.
  • House of the Archduchess, 17th century.
  • House of the Shoulders, 15th century.
  • House of Leonor de la Vega, the mother of the first Marquis of Santillana.
  • Torre del Merino (or Torrona), in the market square and the fifteenth century.
  • Don Borja Tower (today Santillana Foundation) restored in the 15th century.
  • Barreda-Bracho Palace (current National Parador Gil Blas).
  • Town hall, baroque palace with iron balcony.
  • Regina Coeli Diocesan Museum (Dominican convent) and with Renaissance building.

Just by reading this list you can already get an idea of ​​everything you'll find in Santillana del Mar, that although he has tricked us with his name, we can give him a chance and visit it.

Video: Places to see in Santillana del Mar - Spain (April 2020).