The Mediaeval town of Potes in the Picos de Europa

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.

Potes in Picos de Europa
Potes in the Picos de Europa
The La Carcel Bridge of the River Quiviesa (L) with the River Deva (R)
Bridges, river
Both the old bridges in Potes
Potes in Picos de Europa
The modern bridge next to the San Raimondo Convent

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.

Potes in 1937, Spain
Potes in 1937 after attacks by Franco’s forces, and governments forces: https://library.ucsd.edu/dc/object/bb31749071
Mediaeval tower in Potes in Picos de Europa
The Infantada Tower in Potes

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.

  • Coat of Arms on the Oregon de la Lama Tower
Potes in Picos de Europa
Oregon de la Lama Tower (with red banners on the facade) from across the river
Potes in Picos de Europa
The Cultural Centre – the Casona de la Canal of the 17C/18C
The Tower of Osorio in the Calle Marcial
The Tower of Osorio in the Calle Marcial

It is fun to just wander through the streets!

Potes in Picos de Europa
The Calle el Sol
Potes in Picos de Europa
In the Calle el Sol
An old farm and mill at the San Cayetano Bridge
An old farm and mill at the San Cayetano Bridge
Potes in Picos de Europa
The river Deva in Potes and the La Carcel Bridge

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 in Picos de Europa
The former Convent of San Raimundo

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 Picos de Europa
The new Church of San Vicente
Potes in Picos de Europa
The interior of the Church of San Vicente

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.

Potes in Picos de Europa
The view from the top of the town of Potes towards the Picos de Europa at Fuente De

Do visit if you plan a trip to Northern Spain!

Further information
Interesting blogsite, with lovely photographs!
Lots of information on Potes