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Santander, Spain


Santander, Spain

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
Santander is located in Cantabria
Location of Santander within Cantabria
Santander is located in Spain
Location of Santander within Spain
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(s) 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 ; Spanish: ) 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). Santander houses the headquarters of multinational bank Banco Santander, and is the location of the founding of the namesake company.


  • History 1
    • Origins, Roman period and Middle Ages 1.1
    • Cabo Machichaco Blast 1.2
    • Great fire of 1941 1.3
  • Geography 2
    • Towns 2.1
    • Climate 2.2
  • Tourism 3
  • Politics and government 4
  • Economy 5
  • Demography 6
  • Heritage 7
  • The city 8
    • Urban growth 8.1
    • Main sights 8.2
    • Districts 8.3
    • Main streets, squares and parks 8.4
    • Tallest buildings 8.5
  • Education 9
  • Culture 10
    • Museums and cultural centers 10.1
    • Festivals 10.2
    • Gastronomy 10.3
  • Urban Fauna 11
  • Sports 12
  • See also 13
  • References 14
  • External links 15


Origins, Roman period and Middle Ages

The origin of the earliest human settlements in the current Santander is not easy to establish because there are few written and archaeological data. However, there would appear to be good practical reasons for ancient settlers to have chosen the north side of the bay, sheltered from it and safer from the storms of the Bay of Biscay, on the north side of the promontory of Somorrostro and along the ancient Becedo estuary. Moreover, the hillside provided good visibility for spotting potential attackers, making this the ideal place for the foundation of a stable settlement, which was to evolve throughout the Middle Ages.[1]

In Roman times the first written mention appeared, the port being known as Portus Victoriae Iuliobrigensium to Pliny the Elder. Roman archaeological remains found in the Peninsula Magdalena include the remains of a building with mosaic floors, a Hermes bronze and other material monetary and ceramic). On the promontory of San Martin were found a villa of the 1st century AD with remnants of the hypocaustum of some baths, various silver coins and an amphora. Notably, in the area of Cerro de Somorrostro (Latin : summum rostrum, 'greater promontory') systematic excavations were conducted and under the present cathedral churches early medieval and Roman remains were discovered: hypocaustum structures belonging to a thermal establishment, retaining walls and other buildings, all accompanied by significant monetary finds, a sestercio of the time of the Emperor Trajan, coins of Constantine I, etc. These finds indicated that the Romans carried out mining and commercial activities with the port as a base. We also know that according to the historian Hidacio (5th century), the population was ransacked by the Heruli.

Although it is mentioned for the first time in 1068, in 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, housing as holy relics the heads of Saint Emeterius and Saint Celedonius and the graves of other unknown martyrs, giving the abbey its name. According to legend,[2] the heads of Saint Emeterius and Saint Celedonius, third century martyrs beheaded in Calahorra for refusing to renounce their Christian faith, were transported in a stone boat to protect them from the Muslim advance. The boat arrived in Santander and after going around the peninsula collided with and went through a rock at the entrance of the bay (now Isla de la Horadada) where the relics were deposited in the cave under the primitive church in Cerro de San Pedro (Somorrostro). The existing monastery on this spot took them as patrons, placing their effigies on the shield of the church and later on that of the city.

Santander, c. 1590 – by Joris Hoefnagel

On July 11, 1187 King Alfonso VIII of Castile was appointed abbot of San Emeterio and lord and master of the town. His jurisdiction tended to facilitate maritime traffic, fishing and trade, activities that contributed to the Abbey by means of taxation. Other local economic activities included wine growing and making pickles.

During the twelfth and thirteenth centuries the population was contained within the walls of two different pueblas. La Puebla, the oldest, on the hill overlooking the city facing the bay, included the old castle, the Abbey of the Holy Bodies and the cloister. It had three rows of houses, separated by Rua Carnicerias and Rua Mayor, where the homes of prominent people of the town were, as well as those of the Abbot's canons. Meanwhile, the Puebla Nueva contained the convent of Santa Clara and San Francisco, which gave its name to one of the main streets; other important streets were the Rua de la Sal, The cavalcade Palace, Ribera, Don Gutierre, Puerta de la Sierra, Gallows and the Arcillero Rua. The two pueblas were joined by a bridge over the river that divided Becedo and flowed down to the shipyards, which were ordered by the king to take timber from the Cantabrian forests for shipbuilding. 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

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

Great fire of 1941

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 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 led to a major change in the architecture of Santander, away from the older small stone and wood buildings with balconies to the enormous blocks of flats built during the reconstruction. In 1942 the old stations (Estación del Norte and Estación de Bilbao) were demolished and the new station was built, so in the zone affected by the fire, only the old Bank of Spain, the Porticada Square, the Market of La Esperanza, the Post Office, the New Town Hall and some small streets with old buildings survived.

There was only one casualty of the fire, 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 (like the rest of the northern cities) a very important economic centre. It had one of the biggest harbours and was connected by rail to the rest of Spain. However, despite being a very important city, Santander was not an industrial centre, which helped the economic development of Torrelavega based on industry.



The municipality of Santander has included, since 2009, the city of Santander and the 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 separately administered and do not have specified boundaries but some of which 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 24 °C (75 °F) in summer down to 13 °C (55 °F) in winter. Summer temperatures are much cooler than in the more southern large cities of Spain, but are typical of the Atlantic coastline. In general however, summers are warmer than further west on the northern coastline. The damp, mild winters are more typical of the mediterranean climate but the frequent precipitation in summer prevents Santander and the northern coast being classified as cool-summer mediterranean, despite having similar temperatures to many such areas. As regards temperatures, 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. The warmest maximum daytime average for a month was in August 2003, with 25.8 °C (78.4 °F).[7] Subtropical months (mean above 22 °C (72 °F)) are however rare.

Sunshine hours are very low by comparison with the rest of mainland and southern Spain. With just around 1650 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.

Climate data for Santander Airport (1981-2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 22.2
Average high °C (°F) 13.6
Daily mean °C (°F) 9.7
Average low °C (°F) 5.8
Record low °C (°F) −0.1
Average precipitation mm (inches) 106
Average precipitation days (≥ 1 mm) 12 11 10 12 10 8 7 8 9 11 13 12 124
Mean monthly sunshine hours 85 104 135 149 172 178 187 180 160 129 93 74 1,649
Source: Agencia Estatal de Meteorología[8]


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

Nowadays the city remains a major academic and tourist enclave of northern Spain, with highly popular beaches such as El Sardinero and la Peninsula de la Magdalena. Santander’s tourists come mainly from the neighbouring 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 and Portsmouth by ferry and international flights operating from the airport.

Politics and government

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.

Santander City Council is divided into several departments: finance, property and public safety, city planning, public function, the internal system and culture, economic development, training and employment, social, civic participation, drug addiction, 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.[9]

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. Banco Santander, Spain's largest bank and corporation, is headquartered here.


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

Famous people

Urban growth

From 1950 to the 1970s 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

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:[10]
    • The lower temple, called "cripta del Cristo" was built around 1200 on other earlier 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.[11] 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.[12]
  • 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.[13]
  • 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.[14]
  • The Lighthouse of Cabo Mayor presides over the entrance to the Bay of Santander.[15] 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

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).[16]
    • 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

  • 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

  • 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 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 panchos, red mullet, anchovies, seabass and sardines, as well as breakers 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

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.[17]
View of the city from the Bay of Santander.

See also


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  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.
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External links

  • Webcams de Santander y Cantabria — Live webcams Santander and Cantabria.
  • Ayuntamiento de Santander — Official website of the Santander City Council (In Spanish).
  • Webcam en Puertochico — Live webcam of Santander's Puertochico district.
  • Tiempo y webcam de Santander desde El Sardinero — Live webcam and weather station at Sardinero beach
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