Cantabria, Spain

Santander, a city with beautiful villas, such as the emblematic Royal Palace of Magdalena. The Great Cantabrian Maritime Museum, completely renovated, stands out in the city. It is famous for its International Music Festival, with dance and opera shows. It is beautiful for its green areas, like the parks of La Marga and Morales or the Pereda Gardens. Among its best dishes are the stew montañés, quesada pasiega and rabas.

Santander is the capital of Cantabria and the city of Cantabria with the highest number of inhabitants (171.951). Its climate is warm and temperate. Its annual average temperature is 14ºC.

The first archaeological ruins which were found in the city date back to the first century after Christ. In the thirteenth century, the most important parts of Santander were La Puebla Vieja (The Old Village) and La Puebla Nueva (The New Village), which were united by a bridge.

In the eighteenth century, the port of Santander promoted the commerce with America and the city kept growing. Although in the beginning of the nineteenth century Santander was conquered by Napoleon, there was an impressive urban expansion and the commerce reached its highest point of development. Towards the end of this century, Santander will prosper as a tourist place, thanks to the advertising of Baños de Ola (Ola Baths) whose waters are therapeutic.

When in 1912 the building of the Palace of the Magdalena Peninsula was over, more impressive buildings were also built, such as Hotel Real and the Hippodrome of Bellavista. In 1932, the International University Menendez Pelayo was founded. In 1941, Santander officially became the capital of Cantabria.

In the part of the city called “El Sardinero” there are beautiful mansions, such as the Palace of Magdalena, which used to be the summer resort of the Spanish kings but today it is the headquarters of the International University (Universidad Internacional), whose first name was Summer University (Universidad de Verano).

Other attractive places of Santander are the Maritime Museum of Cantabria, which was reformed between 1999 and 2003 and the Palace of Festivals (“Palacio de los Festivales”, where festivals of dance, opera, theater and musical plays are organized). This is where the International Festival of Santander is organized each year.

Besides its green spaces, such as the parks of La Marga and Morales, La Magdalena or the Gardens of Pereda, Santander is considered to be a cosmopolitan and very attractive city. It keeps on growing with new projects, which continually transform the city into the most important tourist, commercial and cultural center of Cantabria.

The cuisine of Santander offers us its stew made of local ingredients, its dish of sardines, the “Rabas”, which are squids cooked in a special way, and the dessert called “Quesada pasiega”. The so-called Big Week (Semana Grande) of Santander in July gives us the chance to taste these dishes and many more, combined with other activities such as musical concerts.

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