Potes is a small town in the far east of the Picos de Europa Natural Park in northern Spain. It lies in a valley with two rivers running through the town: the Quiviesa, and the main river, the Deva. Potes was an important town because of its location – on the route through the mountains from the coast to inland areas and towns.
A village was founded in the area in 8C and a city was established in 13C. It was originally owned by a son of Alfonso XI, and subsequently the Marquis of Santillana and his descendents, the Dukes of Infantada. (The Tower of Infantada is mid-15C.) In the 20C the town had a less happy time during the Civil War, but no hint of that remains in today’s tourist hot spot.
There are several other towers and mansions in the town, with imposing crests on their facades, situated in the maze of streets, twisting against the hillside, above the rivers.
It is fun to just wander through the streets!
The Convent of San Raimundo de Peñafort was founded in 1608 by a Dominican Friar called Fray Toribio Vélez de las Cuevas, and was actually a monastery, despite its name. The nearby monasteries at San Toribio and Frama didn’t offer pastoral care, and this was the aim behind establishing the new Convent in the town.
Potes has two churches, both named San Vicente. The old church is now the tourist office and an exhibition space, and the new church is the parish church, with altarpieces from the Convent of San Raimundo.
Potes in the Picos de Europa is a town in which to just wander, enjoy the views, and perhaps linger over coffee, lunch, or with a drink.
Do visit if you plan a trip to Northern Spain!