Santander, Spain

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Top left: Assumption of the Virgin Mary Cathedral, Top right: Santander City Hall in Calle de los Escalantes, Middle left: Palacete del Embarcadero, Middle right: View of Sardinero Beach and Magdalena Palace, Bottom left: Cape Mayor Lighthouse, Bottom right: View of a ferry leave from Santander in Magdalena Peninsula
Flag of Santander
Coat of arms of Santander
Coat of arms
Location of Santander in Cantabria.
Location of Santander in Cantabria.
Santander is located in Spain
Location of Santander, Cantabria, Spain
Coordinates: 43°27′46″N 3°48′18″W / 43.46278°N 3.80500°W / 43.46278; -3.80500Coordinates: 43°27′46″N 3°48′18″W / 43.46278°N 3.80500°W / 43.46278; -3.80500
Country  Spain
Autonomous community  Cantabria
Province Cantabria
Comarca Bay of Santander
Judicial district Santander
Founded 26 BC, as Portus Victoriae Iuliobrigensium 9 January 1755, granting the title of city
Capital Santander
 • Alcalde Íñigo de la Serna (2007) (PP)
 • Total 35 km2 (14 sq mi)
Elevation 15 m (49 ft)
Highest elevation 108 m (354 ft)
Lowest elevation 0 m (0 ft)
Population (2013)
 • Total 178,465
 • Density 5,100/km2 (13,000/sq mi)
Demonym Santanderino/a, santanderense, pejino/a, chani
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 39001-39012
Official language(s) Spanish
Website Official website

The port city of Santander (English /sɑːntɑːnˈdɛər/; Spanish: [santanˈder]) is the capital of the autonomous community and historical region of Cantabria situated on the north coast of Spain. Located east of Gijón and west of Bilbao, the city has a population of 178,465 (2013).


Origins, roman and Middle Ages[edit]

The origin of the earliest human settlements in the current Santander is complicated, because of the few written and archaeological data. However, the north side of the bay; sheltered from it and safe from the storms of Biscay and the winds, on the north side of the promontory of Somorrostro and along the ancient Becedo estuary, seems quite right place. Moreover, the waters of the bay fed by large estuaries that flow into it from the south, serve as power supply and settled there for good visibility from the hill to spot potential attackers, make this ideal place for the foundation a stable village, where ultimately evolved throughout the Middle Ages.[1]

Since Roman time where the first data appears, the ancient Portus Victoriae Iuliobrigensium, speaking Plinio Roman sources, archaeological remains have been found in the Peninsula Magdalena (remains of a building with mosaic floors, a Hermes bronze and other material monetary and ceramic); on the promontory of San Martin (a villa of sI. AD with remnants of a hypocaustum of some baths and various silver coins and an amphora century AD. and especially in the area of Cerro de Somorrostro (Latin : summum rostrum, 'greater promontory') where systematic excavations were conducted and appeared under the present cathedral churches remains of early medieval era and Roman -hypocaustum structures belonging to a stay of thermal purpose, retaining walls and other buildings, all accompanied by significant monetary material, a sestercio of Trajan Emperor time, other coins of Constantine I, etc. Indicating that the Romans carried out mining and commercial activities with the port as a base. We also know that there were frequent raids Norse sailors and, according to historian Hidacio (V century), the population was ransacked by the Heruli.

Although it is mentioned for the first time in 1068 on a draft document made by King Sancho II, in the ninth century. Alfonso II the Chaste, founded the Abbey of the Holy Bodies in the existing chapel on the hill of Somorrostro, on the reliquary heads San Emeterio and San Celedonio and burials of other unknown martyrs, who owed his name Church of the Holy Bodies. According to legend,[2] the heads of San Emeterio and San Celedonio, martyrs beheaded in Calahorra not renounce their Catholic faith in the third century, were transported in a stone boat to protect both relics of the Muslim advance. They arrived in Santander, after going around the peninsula, they collided and went through a rock at the entrance of the bay (now Isla de la Horadada) and settled in the cave under the primitive church in Cerro de San Pedro (Somorrostro). The existing monastery in this place took them as employers, placing his effigies in the shield of the church and later the city.

Santander, c. 1590 – by Joris Hoefnagel

On July 11, 1187 King Alfonso VIII of Castile was appointed abbot of San Emeterio lord and master of the town and gave the village of jurisdiction (similar to Sahagún) which tended to facilitate maritime traffic, fishing and trade, activities that Abbey received their taxes, as well as making pickles and wine farms.

During the twelfth and thirteenth centuries the population was delimiting its structure within the walls that suited whole villa with two different pueblas. La Puebla, oldest, on the hill overlooking the city Somorrostro facing the bay, including Old Castle, the Abbey of the Holy Bodies, the cloister and the cemetery. On the other hand the shipyards and port were. It had three rows of houses, separated by rua of Carnicerias and Rua Mayor, where the homes of prominent people of the town, as the 'Abbot' canons as well as major lineages were then. La Puebla New containing the convent of Santa Clara and San Francisco, this already out the door, which gave its name to one of the main streets; other streets of importance were the Rua de la Sal, The cavalcade Palace, Ribera, Don Gutierre, Puerta de la Sierra, Gallows and the Arcillero Rua. Both pueblas were joined by a bridge over the river that divided Becedo and reached the shipyards, shipyards sent by King to seize the woods of Cantabrian forests in the construction of ships. The villa was required to give the monarchy a ship per year.

The city owes its existence to the excellent harbour of the Bay of Santander. Santander was an important port for Castile in the later Middle Ages, and also for trade with the New World. It officially became a city in 1755.[3]

Cabo Machichaco Blast[edit]

On November 3, 1893, the Vizcaya Cabo Machichaco ship docked at the wharf of Santander loaded with 51 tons of dynamite in the cellar and sulfuric acid tanks on deck. The regulations on dangerous goods was being systematically breached by authorities and charterers. At noon, a fire on the ship that brought the crews of other boats (like steam Alfonso XII built in 1889), fighting equipment, authorities (including the civil governor) and onlookers said. Shortly after the explosion of the charge. The balance was 590 dead and 525 wounded. Note that at that time there were 50,000 registered in the city. Collapsed the first rows of houses around the dock, and that the ship dropped anchor near Cueto, several kilometers away.

Great fire of 1941[edit]

See also (Spanish): Incendio de Santander

Santander fell victim to a great fire[4] in 1941. Fanned by a strong south wind, the fire burned for two days. The fire started in the Cádiz Street, next to the harbour, the Cathedral and the medieval quarter.[5] The fire destroyed the Old Town Hall, Jesús de Monasterio and Vargas streets and Atarazanas square buildings. It affected heavily the architecture of Santander, from small stone and wood buildings with balconies to the enormous blocks of flats built during the reconstruction. Also in 1942 the old train stations (Estación del Norte and Estación de Bilbao) were demolished and the new Train Station was built, so only survived the old Bank of Spain, the Porticada Square, the Market of La Esperanza, the Postal Office, the New Town Hall and some small streets with old buildings (in the zone affected by the fire).

There was only one casualty, a firefighter from Madrid killed in the line of duty, but thousands of families were left homeless and the city was plunged into chaos. The fire destroyed the greater part of the medieval town centre and gutted the city’s Romanesque cathedral.[6]

In the early 20th century Santander became the favoured summer residence of King Alfonso XIII, who built the Palacio de la Magdalena as the residence of the royal family during the holidays. The city gained great popularity from this and from the 19th century enthusiasm for sea bathing, and it remains popular with the Spanish for beach holidays today. During this period, Santander was (as the rest of the northern cities) a very important economic centre, with one of the biggest harbours and connected by train to the rest of Spain. Despite being a very important city, Santander wasn't a industrial centre, which helped the economic development of Torrelavega based in the industry.



The municipality of Santander has included, since 2009, the city of Santander and urban areas of Cueto, Monte, Peñacastillo, and San Román, places that were once villages but are increasingly being assimilated into the city centre. Santander and these towns have several neighbourhoods that are not ordered administratively or have specific limits but some of them do have a certain personality that differentiates them from other areas of the city. Currently the city of Santander is working to adapt the municipality to the law of large cities and thus decentralise power in several districts.

Beach of El Sardinero
Beach of Los Peligros
  • Cueto
    • Neighborhoods: La Pereda, Valdenoja, Fumoril.
  • Monte
    • Neighborhoods: Corbanera, La Torre, Aviche, Bolado and San Miguel.
  • Peñacastillo
    • Neighborhoods: Nuevo Parque, Primero de Mayo, Nueva Montaña, Ojaiz, Adarzo, Rucandial, Camarreal, Lluja, El Empalme, La Lenteja.
  • San Román de la Llanilla
    • Neighborhoods: Corbán, Rostrío.
  • Santander (Capital)
    • Neighborhoods: La Albericia, Cazoña, El Sardinero, Barrio Pesquero, El Alisal, Cabildo de Arriba, Castilla-Hermida jose manuel atropellado dep, Puertochico, Centro, Cuatro Caminos, Calle Alta, General Dávila, Canalejas, San Fernando, etc.


The climate of Santander is oceanic (Köppen climate classification Cfb), the annual thermal oscillation of the average monthly temperatures reaching around 10 °C (50 °F).

Humidity is quite high throughout the year and sometimes reaches more than 90%. Average daily maximum temperatures vary from 23 °C (73 °F) in summer down to 13 °C (55 °F) in winter. Summer temperatures are much cooler than in the large more southern cities of Spain, but are typical for the Atlantic coastline. The damp and mild winters are more typical for mediterranean climatic regimes, but the common precipitation in summer prevents Santander and the Northern Coast to be classified as cool-summer mediterranean, in spite of having similar temperature characteristics as many such areas. Temperature-wise, summers in Santander are similar to Northern France, Southern Britain, and continental Northern Europe, and comparable to spring-like conditions along the Spanish mediterranean.

The maximum temperature reached in Santander was 37.4 °C (99 °F) on 31 August 2009, and the minimum temperature −5.4 °C (22 °F) on 21 January 1957.

Sunshine hours are comparably very low from the rest of mainland and southern Spain. With just around 1640 hours of sunshine, Santander is about as sunny as London and Paris, and quite a bit less sunny than most of England's south coastal regions, compare the city to Portsmouth, Bognor Regis, Weymouth, Dorset, and many other south coast of England locations and one may be surprised.

Climate data for Santander
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 22.2
Average high °C (°F) 13.3
Daily mean °C (°F) 9.5
Average low °C (°F) 5.6
Record low °C (°F) −0.1
Precipitation mm (inches) 123
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 1 mm) 13 12 12 13 11 8 7 7 9 12 13 12 128
Mean monthly sunshine hours 88 100 134 147 169 174 189 182 157 127 98 74 1,638
Source: Agencia Estatal de Meteorología[7]


During the second half of the nineteenth century, taking advantage of the rise of seaside resorts among European upper classes, which introduced a new concept of leisure associated with health, a number of hotel initiatives promoted Santander in court because of its favorable beaches. This promotion created “los baños de ola ( the first season was announced in the press in 1856 ) which helped to the creation of the “city-resort of” El Sardinero, which was consolidated as a summer destination for the Spanish high society in the early twentieth century. During the reign of Alfonso XIII Santander became the favourite holiday place of court. In 1908 the city built and gave to the king the “Palacio de la Magdalena”.

Currently the city remains being a major northern Spain academic and tourist enclave . Santander’s tourism comes mainly from neighboring regions : north of Castilla y León, Asturias and the Basque Country [citation needed] . Foreign tourism is basically European, closely related to the maritime connections with Plymouth City and Portsmouth by ferry and international flights operating from the airport of Santander. There are very popular beaches called El Sardinero and La Peninsula de la Magdalena .

Politics and government[edit]

City Council

Since June 2007, Iñigo de la Serna, of the People's Party (conservative) has served as Mayor of Santander. The most important political parties in the local area, in addition to the PP, are the Socialist Party of Cantabria - PSOE (social democrat), whose current spokesman is Jesús Cabezón Alonso, and the Regionalist Party of Cantabria with Rafael de la Sierra González. Throughout its history the most influential political parties have been of the ideological right wing, especially the PP.

The Santander City Council is divided into various areas: finance, property and public safety, city planning, public function, the internal system and culture, economic development, training and employment, social, civic participation and drug addiction; of citizen action, and management of municipal companies. The council holds regular sessions each month, but has often held extraordinary plenary sessions to discuss issues and problems affecting the city.

The Governing Board, chaired by the mayor, is currently composed of 15 PP councillors. The municipal council consists of 27 members, 15 of the PP, 7 of the PSC-PSOE and 5 of the PRC. The following tables show the results of municipal elections in 2003 and 2007.[8]

Municipal elections, May 25 of 2003
Partido Votes % Councillors
PP 48599 47,67% 15
PSC-PSOE 31294 30,70% 9
PRC 12731 12,49% 3
  • Elected mayor: Gonzalo Piñeiro García-Lago (PP).
Municipal elections, May 27 of 2007
Partido Votes % Councillors
PP 51187 51,94% 15
PSC-PSOE 25174 25,55% 7
PRC 16977 17,23% 5
  • Elected mayor: Íñigo de la Serna (PP).
Municipal elections, May 22 of 2011
Partido Votes % Councillors
PP 52657 56,24% 18
PSC-PSOE 15874 16,95% 5
PRC 13703 14,63% 4
  • Elected mayor: Íñigo de la Serna (PP).


As a service centre at the regional level, Santander contains important public institutions and private organisations with a large number of employees, including Marqués de Valdecilla University Hospital, the University of Cantabria and Grupo Santander. Activities related to culture, leisure and tourism are an important part of the city's economy, and the regional and municipal authorities look to augment the summer tourist trade with additional offerings, including conventions, conferences, cultural festivals and cruises.


As of 2004, Santander has a population of 183,800. The number has remained fairly steady since 1981. Spain's low fecundity rate and aging population have combined with rising immigration figures to keep the population growth fairly stagnant. Nevertheless, the Santander conurbation continues to sprawl as young families move away from the high cost of living in the heart of the city.

Historical population of Santander, Spain
Year 1981 1986 1991 1996 2000 2004 2006
Population 180 328 186 145 191 079 185 410 184 264 183 799 183 955


Lighthouse of Cabo Mayor

In this municipality, there are many bienes de interés cultural:

  • Santander Cathedral, with the rank of monument
  • Regional Museum of Prehistory and Archaeology of Cantabria, monument, which also includes two heritages of special protection, the Pátera de Otañes and the Early medieval treasure of Ambojo of Pedreña
  • Museum of Fine Arts of Santander, monument
  • Tower, walls and monuments of la Casa Noble de los Riva-Herrera, in Pronillo, monument
  • Palacio de la Magdalena and its gardens, monument
  • Library and casa-museum of Menéndez Pelayo, monument
  • Convent of las Madres Clarisas de Santa Cruz (formerly a tobacco factory), monument
  • Former Hospital of San Rafael (home of the Regional Assembly of Cantabria), monument
  • Mercado del Este, monument
  • Iglesia de Santa Lucía, monument
  • Parroquia de la Anunciación (La Compañía), monument
  • The Dam of Gamazo, monument.
  • Seminario de Monte Corbán, monument
  • Paseo de Pereda, with historical category
  • An area of "El Sardinero", the historic district
  • Iglesia de San Francisco, artistic and religious heritage of Cantabria
  • Cartulary of San Salvador de Oña (Burgos), personal property kept in the Provincial Historic Archive of Santander
  • Cartulary of the Monastery of Santa María de Piasca, heritage preserved in the Library of Santander

In addition, there are several inventory properties in the municipality:

  • Iglesia de la Virgen del Faro in Cueto
  • Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Visitación (Salesas Reales).
  • Batería de San Pedro del Mar in Monte.
  • The Protestant Cemetery.
  • Two of the steam locomotives ("Udías, Mary, Revilla, Peñacastillo, Brawl and Begoña 3") inventoried, in particular Peñacastillo locomotive and Revilla locomotive, both located in the old workshop hauled RENFE.

The city[edit]

Famous people

Urban growth[edit]

From 1950 to the 70s urban growth took off with the construction of many housing blocks with large buildings of 5 to 6 storeys but few housing developments for the working population.

In recent decades the growth of Santander has been beyond the periphery of the city with smaller buildings and structures and aimed at the residence of the first and second home (this last of special importance). Of importance is the El Sardinero, that changes the morphology of garden city to residential and leisure area of Santander, the Nueva Montaña zone recovered industrial land for residential and commercial activity, Cierro del Alisal, Los Castros Avenue and urban sprawl along the northern slope of Vaguada de las Llamas.

In the 1980s the port of Santander was displaced from the centre of the city and in recent years Santander has seen a recovery of its southern edge facing the Bay of Santander. The transfer of all port activities to Puerto de Raos has been gradual, with the exception of maritime passenger traffic that is centered on its maritime station front of Paseo de Pereda.

Currently the growth of port activity, increased value-added traffic (vehicles and containers of mostly liquids and solids) for storage requiring a lot of already scarce ground, and insufficient depth for some types of ships, is forcing the Port Authority to consider the long-term construction of a port outside the bay. On 29 June 2005 Santander celebrated the 250th anniversary of the granting of the title of "City."

Paseo de Pereda with the Palacete del Embarcadero to the right.

Main sights[edit]

Downtown building
Building of Bank of Santander, where it originated and where it has its registered office.
First beach of El Sardinero. In the background the Sardinero Hotel located in the Plaza de Italia, which dominates the view of the sand.
  • The Cathedral of Santander:[9]
    • The lower temple, called "cripta del Cristo" was built around 1200 on other earlier Roman buildings. It is 31 meters long and 18 wide, organised into three naves. Its style is a transition from romanesque to gothic and is accessed by two doors of late romanesque. Here the remains of the Holy Martyrs (Emeterius and Celedonius) are kept, which reached Portus Victoriae (the ancient Roman Santander) by boat.
    • The upper church was built between the late 13th and 14th century. After it was completed the gothic cloister was built.
  • El Sardinero was in 1840 a rugged area of Santander environment.[10] Since 1850, the first tourists started arriving and created some facilities (bath houses, eateries ...). Following the summer of Queen Isabella II in El Sardinero in 1861 and Amedeo of Savoy in 1872, the area acquired great fame and began to attract many tourists. There was a spectacular urban and cultural development with the construction of several hotels, inns, cafes, trains and trams arriving at El Sardinero.
  • The Palacio de la Magdalena, eclectic style, English influenced, built in 1909 by public subscription as a gift for the Spanish Royal Family.[11]
  • El Hotel Real was opened in the summer of 1917, in a privileged location overlooking the bay and the open sea. It is a five-story building, with south porch on a high terrace. The style is modern with an air of eclecticism, by the architect González Riancho.[12]
  • Next to El Hotel Real stands the old house built for Don Adolfo Pardo from 1915–1918. Of mountain style with well marked tower, it was designed by the architect Gonzalez Riano and today is the palace of Emilio Botín García de los Ríos.
  • The Gran Casino del Sardinero completed in 1916, has some relationship to El Hotel Real and is one of the symbols of the city. It has a terrace balcony which is accessed by a monumental staircase. The two-story central body is framed at the sides with two octagonal towers, covered by domes, whose edges involved, from top to bottom, shafts with capitals for each floor.[13]
  • The Lighthouse of Cabo Mayor presides over the entrance to the Bay of Santander.[14] This privileged balcony overlooks the Cantabrian sea and in the city is now one of the most emblematic and evocative for citizens and visitors of Santander. Located in the extreme northeast of the city, the area where the Lighthouse of Cabo Mayor is located is part of a larger area consisting of the headlands of Cabo Mayor and Cabo Menor. The physical configuration of this space is defined by its particular geomorphology, marked by its beaches and cliffs of coastline and a rugged terrain with maximum dimensions of 50 m above sea level. Historically located on the outskirts of the city, the area of Cabo Mayor and Cabo Menor has applications and relevant functions: signal maritime defensive position, horse racing, camping, public park, golf course, etc. Thus it became a tourist landmark and one of the areas of greatest landscape and environmental variety.


Paseo de Pereda
  • La Gandara.
  • Cabildo de Arriba.
  • Cueto.
  • Cazoña.
  • Corbán.
  • Cuatro Caminos.
  • El Alta.
  • El Barrio Pesquero.
  • El Sardinero.
  • La Cavaduca.
  • La Albericia.
  • Nueva Montaña.
  • Puertochico.
  • Zona centro or del Ayuntamiento.
  • San Martín/Tetuán.

Main streets, squares and parks[edit]

Monument to José María de Pereda in the gardens of the same name. The prints are seen around the bust of Pereda, depicting scenes from their works.
  • Streets, avenues and boulevards:
    • Paseo de Pereda (The ancient pier is a promenade overlooking the bay and the towns of Somo and Pedreña. cafés can be found as old as "El Suizo" where, in the past, traders and military writers met, such as Pereda himself). The Gardens also have the same name (which, in turn, is the monument to the writer José María de Pereda, which contains references to his works).
    • Reina Victoria Avenue (location of chalets overlooking the bay. Through this street is access to the beach Los Peligros).
    • Paseo del General Dávila (El Alta) (former Meteorological Observatory of Santander, I.E.S. José María de Pereda, Conservatorio Jesús de Monasterio).
    • Paseo de Pérez Galdós.
    • Castelar Street. (Overlooking the bay, joins the Paseo de Pereda with Reina Victoria Avenue)
    • Calvo Sotelo Street (Ministry of Finance, Post).
    • Burgos Street (It is one of the oldest streets of the city. It may be considered part of the old part of town, although the first references to the street date from the mid 18th century. The title of Burgos Street was awarded in 1845. The pedestrian-only street has benefited the trade of the area and its residents. This street is the headquarters of the ONCE and the Plaza de Juan Carlos I).
    • San Fernando Street (Street with great traffic flow is the main gateway to the city center. The Plaza de las Cervezas is a pedestrian-only area which belongs to this street, named for the brewery (La Cruz Blanca) which stood there before its current disposition.)
    • Alameda de Oviedo (Paseo full of trees, runs from the streets of San Fernando and Vargas, parallel to them, between Cuatro Caminos and Numancia).
    • Avenida de los Castros (In this broad avenue are located most of the universities centres of the University of Cantabria).
  • Parks and gardens:
Las Llamas Atlantic Park
    • Park of la Magdalena (Located on the Magdalena Peninsula, it is a major tourist spot thanks to the Palacio de la Magdalena, the tank seals and the old stables of the palace, where different college classes at UIMP are held.)
    • Las Llamas Atlantic Park (Open to the public on 11 May 2007, but today is still under construction. The park was initially budgeted at 22.5 million euros, but its price has risen 39.1% (8.8 million euros) for the incorporation of improvements).[15]
    • Piquío Gardens (so called because they are shaped like the beak of a ship that "enters" into the sea, referring to the views offered at the end of the garden).
    • La Marga Park (located on the outskirts of the city, at the end of Castilla Street, named for the old timber that was placed there.)
    • Doctor Morales Park.
    • Doctor González Mesones Park.
    • Water Park (on the hillside of Calle Alta).
    • Parque de la etnia gitana de santander de la Patrona in the Patron santander.
    • Mendicoague Park.
    • Los Pinares Park (park full of pines).
    • Mataleñas Park (Formerly private, was opened to the public as green space on the way to Lighthouse).
    • Gardens of Pereda.
    • Farm Altamira.
    • Farm of Jado.
  • Squares:
Plaza de Pombo has traditionally been a meeting place and focus of collectors and children, to exchange stamps or stickers from various collections.
Plaza de Italia
Plaza de las Estaciones
    • Plaza del Ayuntamiento (City Council Square).
    • Plaza de Pedro Velarde (Pedro Velarde Square) or Plaza Porticada.
    • Plaza de Pombo (Pombo Square)
    • Plaza de Atarazanas (Shipyards Square) or Plaza de la Catedral.
    • Plaza de la Esperanza (Hope Square).
    • Plaza de Italia (Italy Square).
    • Plaza de México (Mexico Square).
    • Plaza de Juan Carlos I (Juan Carlos I Square) or Plaza del Rey.
    • Plaza de las Cervezas (Beers Square).
    • Plaza de Colón (Columbus Square).
    • Plaza del Cuadro (Cuadro's Square).
    • Plaza de Numancia (Numancia Square).
    • Plaza de Cañadío (Cañadío Square).
    • Plaza Acebo (Holly Square).
    • Plaza de Cuatro Caminos (Four Roads Square).
    • Plaza de Las Estaciones (Seasons Square).
    • Plaza de los Remedios (Remedios Square).
    • Plaza de Miranda (Miranda Square).
    • Plaza del Príncipe (Prince's Square).
    • Plaza del Dos de Mayo (May 2 Square).
    • Plaza de Las Brisas (Breeze Square).
    • Plaza de Rubén Darío (Rubén Darío Square).

Tallest buildings[edit]

  • Alta, 46. 17 floors.
  • Feygón Tower. 16 floors.
  • Dobra Building. 16 floors.
  • Ibio Building.16 plants.
  • Vargas, 51. 16 floors.
  • Residencia Cantabria. 15 floors.
  • Palacio de Festivales.


First, the School of Navigation, part of the University of Cantabria, and in the background, the Palacio de Festivales de Cantabria.


Santander has a great tradition and cultural activity, with events that play an important role in cultural and social life of the city. UIMP is a major international summer university and organizes large festivals of music and dance. The Festival Internacional de Santander (FIS), Festival Internacional de Música de Órgano (FiMÓC), Encuentro de Música y Academia and the Paloma O'Shea International Piano Competition are main cultural events.

Museums and cultural centers[edit]

  • Cantabrian Maritime Museum.
  • Museum of Fine Arts.
  • Regional Museum of Prehistory and Archaeology of Cantabria.
  • Taurine Museum of Santander.
  • Palace of Festivals of Cantabria.
  • Palace of Exhibitions and Congress of Santander.
  • Modesto Tapia Cultural Center.


Bahía Hotel, Santander
'Cantabria Child Day' in the campa of la Magdalena.

Santander is a city of many festivals and pilgrimages, distributed across the various neighborhoods and areas of the city. Worthy of mention is the existence of many feasts of neighborhood character, such as those of Mendicoague, Perines, etc. The best known festivals in Santander and more tourist attraction, are:

  • January 5: The Cavalcade of Magi covers a small part of the city, from the Palacio de Festivales to the Plaza del Ayuntamiento.
  • The first Sunday of June: Cantabria Child Day is celebrated on Magdalena. It is a 'Regional Tourist Interest', an exaltation of the native, organized by the "Association for the Defence of the Interests of Cantabria" (ADIC), an association founded by Miguel Ángel Revilla. In this event are shown, among other things, an exhibition of "Aluche" (Ancient Cantabrian Fighting) and types of rural sports like milkmaid racing, archery, salto pasiego and wood chopping.
  • Monday of Pentecost: Fiestas de la Virgen del Mar.
  • June 24: The Bonfires of Saint John is celebrated in El Sardinero, particularly in the second beach of Sardinero. This festival celebrates the arrival of summer with a bonfire and a pilgrimage. In other parts of the municipality bonfires are also made, as in la Albericia and the Barrio Pesquero neighborhoods.
  • July 25: Festivals of Saint James (Regional Tourist Interest).
  • August 30: Feasts of the Holy Martyrs (Emeterius and Celedonius). Santander patrons.
  • September 15: Fiestas de la Virgen de la Bien Aparecida, patroness of the Diocese of Santander and Cantabria ('Regional Tourist Interest'.)


Santander offers a magnificent selection of seafood that has a high reputation in the Iberian peninsula. Amayuelas highlights products such as ensis and morgueras, panchos, red mullet, anchovies, seabass and sardines, as well as breakers[disambiguation needed] and squid.

Santander's cuisine is based mainly on fish. The gastronomic tour could start at the Barrio Pesquero, continuing on to Puertochico, El Sardinero and finally to Corbán.

Santander also caters to dining of other municipalities in Cantabria in fish and shellfish such as the clams of Pedreña, the bonito of Colindres, the anchovies of Santoña, bream of Castro Urdiales, etc. But it also deserves special mention for the great variety of legumes, fruits and vegetables produced in the region of Liébana, as well as tables of different kinds of quality cheeses that Cantabria produces and which supplies the city of Santander.

Santander's meat comes from cattle that are raised in Cantabria. Reared on natural grasses, veal, heifer, yearling sheep and ox enjoy a great reputation. Santander's restaurants offer a kitchen with great charisma, and based on its varied and exquisite cuisine.

Some typical dishes of the city of Santander are the fried calamari called rabas and double donuts, in addition to leading the aforesaid cocido montañés and fish and seafood dishes ranging from seabass and sardine to products such as the morguera.

Urban Fauna[edit]

Santander, like many other coastal cities, is home of a lot of seagulls. The most common one is the “yellow-legged gull” (Larus cachinans). However, the most abundant bird perhaps is the “rock dove” (Columba livia). Both types of bird cause problems in the city and the City Council takes measures in order reduce their number or at least prevent its growth.


Sporting marina in Puertochico
Mataleñas municipal golf fields, in Cape Menor

In this city the Spanish first division Racing de Santander football team, one of the historic and certainly that was one of the founders of La Liga, play their home games at the Campos de Sport de El Sardinero. Racing de Santander has been 40 seasons in first division and 32 in second. In the 1930/1931 season, it finished second level on points with Athletic Club Bilbao (champion) and the Real Sociedad (third), that time was the one that came closest to winning the league championship.

A long tradition in the city was handball, with CB Cantabria as a banner that has taken the name of Santander in Europe and the world with the achievement of several international titles, the European Cup in 1994,the Recopa in 1990 and 1998 and the EHF Cup in 1993. Currently, the club is dissolved. The only team that has an important place in the national scene at the moment is the Adelma Santander 2016, belonging to the Handball Club Sinfín. It competes in the category of the División de Honor Plata (second division).

Some elite teams of Santander:

Club Sport Ligue Stadium
Racing de Santander Football Second Division Campos de Sport de El Sardinero
Adelma Santander 2016 Handball Silver Honor División League Pabellón Municipal de La Albericia
C.D Estela Santander Basketball EBA League Santander Sport Palace
Marina Park Women's basketball Costa Blanca League La Albericia Municipal Pavilion
Real Sociedad de Tenis de La Magdalena Field hockey Honour Division La Albericia
Bathco Independiente Rugby Club Rugby Union Rugby Honour Division Mies de Cozada


  • Santander has hosted the Davis Cup in 2000 and 2006.
  • Santander has many times hosted a finish of stage of the Vuelta a España.
  • There are numerous watercraft rowing regattas in the Bay and Abra del Sardinero.
  • Summer tournaments of football and beach volleyball.
  • Sailing races organized by the Real Club Marítimo de Santander.
  • Horse Racing in la Campa de la Magdalena.
  • Around all the municipality are located many boleras of the modality Bolo Palma, typical of the region. Various competitions and championships are held, commonly in Cantabria and eastern Asturias.
  • Surfing championships of international stature. As Quick Silver La Vaca Gigante Pro in El Bocal spot in Santander, or the WQS 4Stars Rip Curl Pro in Liencres beach, or the female WCT on the beaches of Liencres and Sardinero.

Main sports centers:

  • Sport Complex of la Albericia (Sport Municipal Institute).
  • High Performance Centre of Sailing Príncipe Felipe.
  • Puertochico (sporting marina).
  • Mataleñas golf field.
  • Royal Society of Tennis La Magdalena.[16]


Gigantillas parading Santander.
  • Santander is the only coastal city in northern Spain facing the south.[citation needed]
  • The lamp of the Plaza del Ayuntamiento represents the four seasons.
  • The building of the Banco de Santander is not symmetrical, because it was not built all at once. First it was the right, then sent to the arch and the left side, but lacks a balcony.
  • The chalets located on the left of Paseo de Reina Victoria were built for the nobles and bourgeoisie who were summering with King Alfonso XIII of Spain.
  • In El Sardinero there are two beaches called the first and the second. The first was for the nobility and upper classes, and the second for everyone else.
  • There is a cross next to the Lighthouse of Cabo Mayor that is a monument to the Francoist, conservative, and clerical victims of the Republicans killed during the Spanish Civil War, thrown over the cliff by order of local functionaries of the Republican Government.
  • In the Plaza del Ayuntamiento, right next to where there used to be a statue of Francisco Franco (removed due to public protests), the coat of arms of the Second Spanish Republic were hidden under a tree.
  • The Beach of the bikinis was named because it was a beach frequented by foreign students coming to study at the Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo (UIMP) during the summer in the 1960s and 1970s. The female students wore bikinis, but the new beachwear fashion had not yet arrived in the then conservative Santander, so the students' beachwear attracted attention.
  • La Plaza de Italia (Italy Plaza) was named after the Spanish Civil War to mark the arrival of the Italian brigade ("Littorio" Division) at the Gran Casino del Sardinero, as part of the troops sent by Benito Mussolini (called Corpo Truppe Volontarie). They fought in the Battle of Santander on the Nationalist side against the Republican troops. In that square, there is a memorial to those soldiers.
  • The great fire of Santander is known as "The Andalusian" because it started in Cádiz Street and ended in Seville Street.
  • The waterfront formerly came up as far as Plaza de Cañadío.
  • Radio Caroline's final ship, MV Ross Revenge, was converted from a side trawler into a radio ship in Santander between 1981 and 1983.
View of the city from the Bay of Santander.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Fernández González, Lorena (2002). Santander una ciudad Medieval. Estvdio. ISBN 9788495742056. 
  2. ^ "Catholic Encyclopedia: Santander". 1 February 1912. Retrieved 14 April 2011. 
  3. ^ Ringrose, David R. (2005). Toward a contemporary city: Santander, 1755-1910. Ed. Universidad de Cantabria. p. 7. ISBN 9788481029772. 
  4. ^ Aupí, Vicente (2005). «El Incendio de 1941 en Santander». Guía del Clima en España. Omega. p. 75. ISBN 84-282-1370-4. Consultado el 16 de mayo de 2013.
  5. ^ "Así ocurrió", El Diario Montañés (in Spanish), 12 February 2011, retrieved 14 December 2014 
  6. ^ "Balance de la tragedia", El Diario Montañés (in Spanish), 13 February 2011, retrieved 14 December 2014 
  7. ^ "Valores Climatológicos Normales. Santander / Aeropuerto". July 2011. 
  8. ^ "Santander election results". Retrieved 14 April 2011. 
  9. ^ David de la Garma. "Cathedral of Santander". Retrieved 14 April 2011. 
  10. ^ "City of Santander". Retrieved 14 April 2011. 
  11. ^ "Palace of La Magdalena, History". 
  12. ^ "History Eurostars Hotel Real". Retrieved 2014-12-15. 
  13. ^ "Gran Casino Sardinero". Retrieved 2014-12-15. 
  14. ^ "Lighthouse of Cabo Mayor". Retrieved 14 April 2011. 
  15. ^ J. F. R./Santander (1 December 1997). "El Parque de Las Llamas quedará abierto al público el próximo viernes.". Retrieved 14 April 2011. 
  16. ^ "Tennis Club". Retrieved 14 April 2011. 

External links[edit]