RIO DE LA PILA CABLE CAR
This funicular, which we urge you to climb for the best views of Santander, was erected to improve the city´s upper area residents´ quality of life by bridging the gap between this neighbourhood and the surrounding Santander extension to Paseo Pereda street.
Furthermore, one of its many benefits for the inhabitants of Santander and anyone else who wants to walk up to appreciate the view is that it is entirely free.
In its construction, 15 families had to be evicted to create the space where means of transport would be located.
It was built mainly with money from the city council and a small contribution from European Union funds within the URBAN project.
The funicular runs 78 meters and is complemented by escalators at the bottom.
Inaugurated in 2008, it is the only funicular in all of Cantabria.
It has a capacity for 20 people and is open from 06:00 in the morning until 00:00 at night.
With this cable car, we will not only reach the upper neighbourhood, but we will be able to reach a little overlook or balcony with the best views of the entire bay, which is encircled by the Cantabrian mountains. The idea of the sea and mountains is breath-taking all year, but more so in the winter when the mountain tops are blanketed with snow.
Pea Cabarga is the name of the rock that we shall see in front of us on the south side of the harbour of Santander. It is covered in holm oaks, eucalyptus, and crops and meadows in its lower portion.
The Cantabrian Sea, the Bay of Santander, and a part of the city stand between La Pñea and us, leaving us with a memorable recollection of our visit to the town.
To get to the funicular street, it is best to walk about 10 minutes from the bus stop on Paseo de Pereda, where many urban buses in Santander pass (Lines 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7).
You can pay the bus ticket directly to the driver.
Address: Calle Río de la Pila, 36.
We´re in a fishing hamlet, so when we become hungry, we´ll try something so familiar and well-known that we can find it virtually anywhere.
Of course, we´re talking about Santoa´s artisan anchovies.
The Cantabrian Coast, particularly Cantabria, is abundant in bocarte or anchovies, a blue fish high in vitamins, minerals, and omega 3 fatty acids.
The anchovy is neither more nor less than anchovies that have previously been converted. It is salted or brined first, then the fillets are separated, the bones are cleaned, and then placed in oil and canned.
Anchovy fillets have an unrivalled flavour, making them a highly regarded and beloved delicatessen on the international market.
Although it may seem easy and fast, it is a precise craft that takes several months to see the final product.
The place that has made this fish famous is Santoña, just 45 km from Santander, which has become the largest concentration of canning industries in the country.
The manufacturing of salted anchovies, a perishable semi-conservation technique, drew Italians to Santoña at the end of the nineteenth century. Initially, the anchovies were salted and shipped to Italy, where they were cleaned and given an oil coating.
Maritime travel and exports were disrupted during the First World War. There was a possibility that the production of salted anchovies would be unable to reach Italy and thus fail.
As a result, the second manufacture takes place in Santoña, and the finished goods are shipped out ready to use.
Although, as previously said, this product can be sampled in practically any bar or restaurant in Santander, we will do so in a traditional setting: any of the pubs or taverns in the Puerto Chico district, such as Casa Lita, Bodegas Mazón, Taberna Santoa, or Bodegas Puerto Chico.
You have buses 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7.
Address: Puerto Chico neighbourhood.
EAST MARKET. “MERCADO DEL ESTE”
The East Market (Mercado del Este) was a food market founded in 1839 in the Santander expansion region, which was the city´s principal reclaimed land.
Because the market is located to the east of what was previously the city´s historic core, it has been given this name.
Because of the ventilation and lighting criteria for buildings of this sort, this market was deemed technologically sophisticated at the time.
It was dismantled and rebuilt in the exact location in the year 2000, retaining little of the original market and relinquishing its function as a food market to contain more attractive stores and hospitality enterprises and the Cantabria Museum Prehistory and Archeology.
We´ll travel there on our shopping trip since the old market´s new stores will allow us to find some Cantabrian delicacies that we´ll want to try, buy, and take, as well as because it is located in a historically significant area of the city.
We´ve already discussed anchovies because there are a few decent places to acquire canned and ready-to-eat anchovies here.
However, there is another Cantabrian speciality that you must try, and that is relatively easy to transport: soba´s pasiegos.
It´s a traditional sponge cake from Cantabria´s Valles Pasiegos region.
Flour, sugar, butter, eggs, salt, lemon, and a smidgeon of liquor are used to make it.
They are delicious and have a protected regional designation that distinguishes where the sobaos are produced and packaged.
The Pas region is located in the middle section of the Autonomous Community of Cantabria, between
The Pas and Pisuea rivers.
Small boutiques and attractive shops, where you can get clothes, shoes, and branded products, are also located in the same area as the market.
In a nutshell, Santander´s exquisite shopping district.
Very busy and busy streets from morning to afternoon, such as Calle Ataulfo Argenta, Calle Hernán Cortés, Calle San José, Calle del Medio and Calle Arrabal.
How to get there: bus lines 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7 at the Correos stop.
Address: Mercado del Este.
Hernán Cortes Street, 4
It is the Botin Foundation´s new Santander Museum, which opened in 2017.
Designed by Renzo Piano, an Italian architect known for his many works and recipient of the Pritzker Prize, the most prestigious honour in architecture, he got in 1998.
Marcelino Botin and his wife Carmen Yllera founded the Botin Foundation in 1964 to develop artistic, cultural, educational, and scientific initiatives, as well as assistance for social institutions that create cultural, social, and economic richness in Spain and abroad. Latin America is a continent in South America.
The Botin Center´s missions include research, training, and dissemination, intending to become an international reference centre.
The Botin family is one of the most well-known in Santander, Spain, and the financial world.
He has nearly continuously presided over the famed Banco de Santander since 1904.
Emilio Botin López, married to Maria Sanz de Sautuola, was elected president in 1904. He and his father were the first to find the Altamira caverns in 1879.
After Emilio Botin López (1904-1923), the presidency was handed over to outsiders until 1950, when it was returned to the Botin family, who continued to direct it.
The Botin Centre is a structure in the Bay of Santander that consists of two different-sized chambers supported by columns and pillars partially suspended over the sea.
The building´s cladding, which is made up of 280,000 small ceramic discs that conform to the building´s geometry and give the façade an iridescent appearance depending on the light, is one of the main attractions.
The largest of the two structures is devoted to art and features a 2,500-square-meter exhibition hall.
There is a store and restaurant section on the ground floor with huge windows.
The smallest of the structures is used for educational purposes and has a vast terrace with views of Santander Bay.
The Pereda Gardens were also affected by this project, as the traffic that today passes beneath the area was buried, thereby tripling the size of these central and attractive gardens.
The gardens opened in 2014.
How to get there: Buses 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7 at the Paseo de Pereda stop.
THE WRECKERS "LOS RAQUEROS".
The Raqueros Monument, located on the Paseo de Pereda in Puerto Chico, is one of those places that will touch our emotions and undoubtedly want to photograph.
It´s part of the city´s history from another age, and it´s one of its most recognizable features. It´s a portion that needs to be remembered.
The raqueros were orphaned, poor, marginal youngsters that wandered around the port at the end of the 19th century and early in the 20th century, surviving by minor stealing or by waiting for the crew or passengers of the ships to toss some cash into the water, which they would jump to dive for.
People paid them to save goods from the flood, becoming a tourist attraction.
They were always bare-chested or barely clothed.
Some believe the word raquero comes from a related word, robbers.
Others claim it´s a Castilianization of the English word wrecker (boat robber or shipwreck looter).
The English screamed from the boats and which the locals pronounced as raquer.
In front of the pier, where they had to flee the cops on occasion, the artist José Cobo Calderón commemorated these lads in four bronze statues with extraordinary accuracy in their faces and actions in 1999.
The history of the raqueros is explained on a historical plaque, and it is undoubtedly a spot you will want to remember.
These children have also been immortalized in the pages of Cantabrian novelist José Maria Pereda´s work Escenas Montaesas.
The raqueros aren´t just Santander´s characters; they´ve also appeared in other parts of the coast under different names but with the same profile.
Their existence symbolizes the agony that a segment of the community endured due to being obliged to let their children work in these vocations or commit minor crimes and the number of youngsters who arrived from orphanages with no other option to convert to raqueros.
How to get there: buses 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7. Paseo de Pereda stop.
Address: Paseo de Pereda, 35.
JUMP RIGHT IN
The Cantabrian Sea is a large body of water that runs along Spain´s north coast and a portion of France´s southwest coast. It´s a portion of the Atlantic Ocean, specifically the coastal shore, which runs parallel to the land.
From its westernmost point in Galicia (Cabo Ortegal) to its easternmost point in the Pyrenees-Atlantiques department of France (the mouth of the Adur River), it has 800 kilometres of shoreline.
Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria, the Basque Country, and the Pyrenees-Atlantiques area in France are all surrounded by it.
It´s a sea that connects the frigid northern seas with the tropical, temperate seas.
It is, however, icy throughout the year.
So there goes our proposal.
Do you dare to bathe in the Cantabrian Sea´s frigid waters?
The Cantabrian Sea passes through Cantabria with 284 kilometres of shoreline, with only a few kilometres passing through Santander. El Sardinero, Playa del Camello, and Playa de los Peligros are just a few of the beaches you can visit. They come in many shapes and sizes: wild, urban, tiny, enormous, rocky, and flat.
They are available for sports or simply going for a walk.
The temperature of the water is something they all share in common. Let´s just say it´s very cool.
It reaches 11 degrees in the winter and a little over 20 degrees in the summer.
Some may find this enjoyable, but others will be unable to even put their foot in the water.
Waves of 2 to 3 meters are generated due to the kind of coast and the winds that blow from a mixture of low pressures and anticyclones, resulting in a rough sea reaching gale magnitudes in spring and autumn with waves up to 7 meters.
So, if you dare, you have this wonderful, agitated, and calm sea to enjoy a relaxing bath or perhaps to practise surfing, which is common in many of these beaches, beaches where, in other times, in addition to bathing, you could see Right whales, which move in shallow waters, approaching bays and inlets, in addition to bathing.
However, fishing for this cetacean, once a way of life, drove whales to quit our coasts and almost the entire Eastern Atlantic.
That is why many municipalities in the Cantabrian Sea carry the whale on their shield.
Address: Cantabrian Sea
This historic Palace is Santander´s most iconic structure. It was erected by popular subscription between 1909 and 1911 to house the Spanish royal family during their summer vacations.
Javier González Riancho and Gonzalo Bringas Vega, architects, designed the project in an eclectic style.
The royal stables were created in the style of a medieval English town in 1914.
The municipal council wanted to provide a summer palace for Kings Alfonso XIII and Victoria Eugenia, demonstrating the city´s dedication to becoming a popular summer tourist destination.
Between 1913 and 1930, the royal family spent their summers in Santander.
The city government and specific city households who participated in this effort contributed 700,000 pesetas (4207 euros) for the building.
The Palace was used for various purposes during the Second Republic until it was purchased by the city council in 1977 for 150 million pesetas from Alfonso XIII´s son, Don Juan de Borbon (901,518 euros).
The Palace now serves as a place for conventions and gatherings. During the summer, the Menéndez y Pelayo University is given as a hub for its activities by the city council.
A little zoo, a children´s playground, and numerous structures are also located within the enclosure.
However, the Stables of the Magdalena Palace were a concentration camp during the Spanish Civil War, something not everyone is aware of or perhaps wishes to forget.
From 1937 to 1939, it was in operation. With 600 inmates, the facility can hold up to 1600 people who are living in agony and degradation.
The regime´s opponents made up a significant portion of the inhabitants of this and nearly 300 other fields that sprang up across Spanish territory.
After the coup, the first opened its doors 48 hours later.
Concentration camps were used as a repressive and propaganda tool to spread terror and destroy political opponents.
This field, in particular, was not simply another field; it had a referential quality, in addition to its permanent nature, because it was one of the earliest and served as a model for many others that followed.
Address: Palacio de la Magdalena.
We´re going for a leisurely stroll since the sound of the waves is one of the most peaceful noises, and the sight of the sea is one of the most pleasing sights to our eyes.
We´ll stroll down the Santander promenade, enjoying the Cantabrian Sea wind.
We´ll start our trek along with the Avenida de la Reina Victoria, lined with some of Santander´s most magnificent homes and mansions, always keeping the sea on our right.
At the end of the nineteenth century, the wealthy classes of the city, particularly the Botín family, began to construct houses and palaces here.
Also noteworthy in the upper part is the historic Hotel Real, a spa with views of the bay and known for hosting friends, relatives and acquaintances of Alfonso XIII and his wife Victoria Eugenia de Battenberg on their summer vacations at the beginning of the 20th century, since the kings spent their summer vacations in the Palacio de la Magdalena.
If we look towards the sea, we will have beautiful views of the bay, with Puntal beach in the middle, and the towns of Somo and Pedreña on the opposite shore.
As we continue our trek, we will pass via the Magdalena peninsula´s entrance, where the famous Palace of the same name can be found.
The city council currently owns the Palace and houses the prominent Menéndez y Pelayo University during the summer.
Further on, to the left, we can see the famous Casino de Santander, built-in 1916 and declared a site of cultural interest in 1982.
We will always arrive on the shores of the sea at the Piquio gardens, small French-style gardens built on a small elevated peninsula that juts out over Sardinero beach and divides it in two. At the end of these gardens, we have a viewpoint from which to once again enjoy the views of the beaches and the bay.
Walking along this promenade, we will find several Regma kiosks. They are the best ice creams in the city, so we will have no choice but to try one while enjoying the unbeatable views from this viewpoint.
How to get there: Buses 1, 2, 3, 6 and 20. Stop Avenida de la Reina Victoria, 18
Address: Paseo Marítimo
¡ORDER "UN MEDIANO"!
No, it´s not a Middle Earth resident; it´s a café from Santander or a way to order coffee, but where will we have this "mediano"?
The Plaza de Pombo is one of the most famous squares in Santander´s growth.
Juan Pombo, who revolutionized the urbanization of Santander´s old eastern sector at the end of the 19th century, delineated the Plazuela de Pombo with enormous buildings, whose lands belonged to his family and were presented to the city on the condition that nothing be built within that space.
Juan Pombo erected a castle for his family in this square, which now serves as the headquarters of the Real Club de Regatas de Santander.
On rainy days, the arcaded square provides protection for walkers.
There is a carousel in the area that children like and one of Santander´s most excellent bookstores. It first opened its doors in 1967 in a modest space of about 30 meters that has subsequently been expanded while preserving the same spirit and family.
For musical performances, a bandstand is positioned in the square´s centre.
Other places to visit include Café Pombo, one of the city´s most famous cafes, where you can enjoy delicious pinchos (spikes) and aperitifs.
It´s beautiful, but it´s also a popular spot for breakfast or simply a cup of coffee while enjoying the plaza.
When you order a coffee in Santander, the waitress/waiter will ask if you want it medium or large.
Breakfast is usually the most critical meal, followed by lunch or mid-afternoon.
This could be one of the best mid-milk coffees with a dash of heavy cream.
There are pinchos and a selection of pastries to tempt those with a sweet craving and coffee.
In the summer, you may relax on its ever-changing patio and enjoy the ambience of the plaza. At the same time, in the winter, its warm interior will provide you with another of the establishment´s delights, hot chocolate.
This square is very close to the centre, and close to other points that we recommend you visit so you can get there by walking or if you prefer on bus lines 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7, Paseo de Pereda stop.
Address: Plaza Pombo.
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