Santillana del Mar was our last stop before taking the ferry back to the UK. It is a very pretty and historic town and a most enjoyable way in which to end a long trip in Spain.Follow my blog with Bloglovin
The start of Santillana del Mar
It seems that the town grew around the Monastery of the 9C which became a Collegiate Church, and then the Cathedral of Santa Juliana. All the roads in the town focus on the Cathedral, or rather radiate from it.
The town is also on the Northern Route of the Camino but it was so packed with tourists it was hard to see Pilgrims!
Growth of Santillana del Mar
The Calle del Rey links the Cathedral to the Plaza Ramon Pelayo and the town developed along this axis over time. The square was part of Mediaeval Santillana and it looked like a film set in the evening light! The town has always been important because in Mediaeval times it was the capital of what today is Cantabrica. And this explains the many mansions with crests, towers, and large religious establishments.
The Palace of the Velarde stands on the Plaza de las Arenas, behind the Cathedral. It is the best example of the Renaissance in Santillana. An old, walled, stone road leads out of the town from the Plaza.
Mansions of the wealthy
As an important centre of administration and trade, Santillana also attracted the wealthy and powerful. Wandering through the town you notice many crests on the buildings, and many substantial buildings. The Parador was once the home of the Barredo-Bracho family and is now a very comfortable and intimate hotel. The mansion dates from the 17C
Views of Santillana del Mar today
This is a delightful small town and the Parador is very comfortable but don’t expect a quiet stay!