Santillana del Mar, Cantabria, Spain

Santillana del Mar is a municipality and an autonomous city, on the west coast of Cantabria, Spain. It is one of the most visited tourist villages of the region; much of the city residents live from tourism, especially with hotels, rural accommodation and shops of typical products. The historic center is organized around two main streets that end at the respective places. The first street takes various names (Carrera, Canton, and del Rio) and will give up to the religious square, the first center of the city, which gives access to the Collegiate. It is divided in two: in front of the Collegiate Church, Abad Francisco Navarro Square and on the side is Las Arenas Square. These are cobbled streets. The historic center is composed of homogeneous stone buildings, mainly from the fourteenth to eighteenth centuries. To see: the Valdivieso Palace (Altamira hotel today), the Palace of Velarde or Arenas (transition from the construction of Gothic to Renaissance); the Collegiate Church of Santa Juliana and its cloister of 42 Romanesque capitals; the Merino Tower (XIV); the Convent of Saint Ildefonso, among others. We also find many houses that have the coats of arms of the families to which they belonged.

Tips

Santillana has a hostel for pilgrims in the center, used in the Way of Saint James of Compostela and a number of hotels including the national Parador Gil Blas. We also find a campground.
Another interesting place to visit is the Zoo and Botanical Gardens apart from animals, it has a butterfly garden, a place with snakes and a space called Quaternary Park where there are replicas of animals that lived in the city in times of Altamira villagers. Altamira Cave, famous worldwide for its prehistoric paintings, unfortunately, is closed to the public.

 

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