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  • PALACIO DE LA MAGDALENA - SANTANDER

    Santander, which is certainly renowned for its beautiful bay and its magnificent beaches, is situated in the northern Spain, on the Cantabrian Sea coast. Surrounded by breathtaking scenery among its bay, the sea and green belts, Santander is an outstanding example of a natural landscape of great beauty, with a population of about 180,000 inhabitants it is the capital city of Cantabria region (Spain).

    mapa-santander-spainIn the mid 19th century Santander became a perfect tourist destination for aristocracy, upper class and wealthy people who came to enjoy its lovely beaches, and its mild climate during the summer. Although in 1941 a disastrous fire destroyed a considerable part of its old town (Casco Antiguo), currently, Santander is also noteworthy for the quality of its architecture.

    Nowadays, Santander not only has one of the most impressive bays in the world and magnificent beaches but also, gastronomy, sport, festivals, events, night-life, architecture, nature, culture, parks among other many more things. In fact, Santander is a holiday destination where tourists from all over the world choose to visit Santander in order to spend their holiday doing outdoor activities, enjoying its beaches, tasting its traditional cuisine or having a lot of fun at its parties, beaches and streets.
    What to visit in Santander
    Among the more imposing buildings is the Magdalena Palace that was built in the early 20th century on a hill in the Magdalena Peninsula surrounded by outstanding landscape. The king Alfonso XIII used to spend the summers in this palace until 1930. Currently, the palace hots events, exhibitions and summer courses at Menéndez Pelayo International University where more than seven thousand students attend the courses in Santander every year. This peninsula is itself a must-see place.

    edificio banco santanderIf visitors take a leisurely stroll along the elegant Sardinero Promenade, which is one of the most emblematic areas of the city, they will find the famous Sardinero Beaches, Gran Casino del Sardinero, the Auditorium, luxury hotels, restaurants, terraces, bares, cafés and, pubs, as well as the Piquio Gardens which are regarded as some of the most lovely places in Santander from where visitors can see wonderful views. The Sardinero Promenade is to the east of the city.

    Paseo de Pereda is without a doubt the most remarkable area in Santander where people can enjoy the beautiful Pereda Gardens and historical buildings walking along the Paseo de Pereda and Castelar Street and bordering the impressive Bay of Santander, to the south of the city. Moreover, the seaport, the port of call, the marina, the pier, Palacete del Embarcadero, the Cathedral, the City Hall, the Plaza Porticada and Santander Bank are interesting places and building near the Pereda Gardens. This area is plenty of restaurants, cafés, terraces, glamorous shops and luxury hotels.

    paseo maritimo santanderSanta Maria de la Asuncion Cathedral, which incorporates remains of a Roman structure that can be seen if you visit the Cathedral, was built on a hill between 14th and 17th centuries in Gothic style. It was severely damaged during the 1941 fire although it was rebuilt and widened. The cloister from 14th century in Gothic style. Besides, Cristo Church also known as Cripta is under the cathedral dating from 13th century was built on the site of a previous monastery in Gothic style too. By the way, the tomb of Marcelino Menéndez Pelayo ( 1856 -1912) is in this cathedral.

    If tourists are interested in visiting museums theses are probably worth mentioning Modern Art, Menéndez Pelayo House, Fine Art, MMC Cantrabrian Maritime, Prehistory or Botin Art Center among others.

     
    Sports and Beaches
    Although there are a lot of facilities for football, swimming, surfing, windsurfing, horse riding and play golf, tennis and others in Santander, the natural surrounding with their beaches and sailing are really of main attractions. In fact, Santander hosted the Sailing World Championship 2014 (on 30th August to 21st September) where almost 1400 participants from 95 countries and more than 700 vessels took part in the competition.

    playa de santanderSantander also has a lot of parks where people can do sport, walk or play such as Las Lamas Park, the largest Park in Santander with plenty of trees, a lake and the Palacio de Deportes (Sport Palace) at its main entrance, it is really more than a park is the green heart of Santander; Mataleña Golf Course is on a hill; Mataleña Park, with breathtaking views, borders the Cape Menor and arrives at Faro in Cape Mayor; El Faro (The lighthouse) is on a hill and measures 30 meters in height (90 meters over sea level), being erected in the mid 19th century, it is 2 km from city center. Mesones Park near Sardinero II beach is ideal for children; Water Park, Doctor Morales Park, La Alameda, the Jado Park among others without forgetting the Piquio Gardens.

    Obviously Santander also has some of the most famous beaches in Spain all of them of the highest quality, with fine golden sand, clear waters and excellent facilities. Besides, the beauty of the landscape around the beaches has the additional advantage of being within walking distance of the city center. In addition, there are cultural events on the beaches.

    Los Peligros Beach with quiet waters, measures about 200 meters in length by 70 meters in width; Magdalena Beach measures more than 800 meters in length by 30 meters in width and the Bikinis Beach is more than 200 meters long and 30 meters wide with quiet waters and soft breeze is easily reached from Magdalena Peninsula. These three beaches are situated to the south of Santander by the Paseo Reina Victoria and Magdalena Peninsula.

    Situated to the east of the city visitors can find the busiest beaches:

    El Camello measures 200 meters by 50 meters; La Concha Beach is 250 meters long and 20 meters wide located between Camello and Sardinero I beaches; Sardinero I Beach measures more than 300 meters in length by 80 meters in width with fine sand is very popular among tourists, it is next to Sardinero II Beach which measures about 1000 meters in length by 80 meters in width is the largest beach in Santander. All of them border the Sardinero Promenade.

    Molinucos Beach is a small beach with fine and golden sand and often empty, it is about 30 meters long and 5 meters wide not far of Sardinero II Beach and near Mataleñas park. Mataleñas Beach which is very popular among local people, is located between the Cape Mayor and the Cape Menor near the Mataleñas Park in an area of natural beauty, measures about 120 meters by 40 meters.

    Other beaches nearby:

    Punta Parayas Beach is a artificial beach in Camargo it measures 50 meters in length by about 30 meters in width. Punta Parayas beach offers good facilities with green areas to walk and play, bicycle path, parking and so on.

    El Bocal Beach 200 meters by 10meters and Maruca Beach 400 meters long and 10 meters wide are situated on the north coast of Santander in Monte with low occupation; Virgen del Mar Beach in San Roman de la Llanilla with 400 meters by 40 meters is an isolated beach to the north of village, here is the Chapel of the Virgin of the Sea ( Virgen del Mar) It is 5 km from Santander.
    Gastronomy
    gastronomia tapas fiestas de santanderIt is well known that local people are justly proud of its traditional cuisine, the excellent and healthy food which is attractive not only for its aroma and exquisite taste, but also the quality of its savory anchovies, the fresh seafood, fish and meat, its famous green pepper, its tasty Pasiego cheese, delicious desserts and its flavorful wine make Santander an ideal tourist destination of the highest quality.

    To sum up, we suggest enjoying the beaches, the food, the nightlife and do water sports. Visitors can arrive in Santander, by train, by car, by sea, by air.

    Santander is about 400 kms. from Madrid

     
    Cabarceno Nature Park
    JIRAFAS - CABARCENOCabarceno Park (15 Km. from Santander) is a zoo with a surface area of more than 7,000,000 square meters that preserves the conservation of the environment. There are giraffes, jaguars, rhinoceros, hippopotamus, zebras, bears, lions, elephants, tigers, deers, horses, wallabies and many much animals from Asia, Africa, America, Australia and Europe that visitors can see them living in freedom in a suitable area surrounded by nature.

    Visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of nature and wildlife in Cabarceno Park if they go on foot or by car through the paths and roads of park. Moreover, the park has excellent facilities to spend all day with children and old people. By the way, this park is one of most visited places in the northern Spain

    The ticket costs between 7 to 25 euros.

     
    Other places to visit in Cantabria region (Spain)
    LAGO PARA HIPOPOTAMOS - CABARCENOComillas: Comillas is an attractive town located on the Cantabrian Sea coast, in the north of Spain, indeed in an area of natural breathtaking beauty in Cantabria region.

    Potes: Visiting the beautiful villages in Cantabria region, in the north of Spain, tourists should not miss out on the medieval town of Potes whose traditional buildings, wooden balconies, steep streets and surrounding mountains make the Potes town an interesting tourist attraction place.

    Altamira Cave: Located in Santillana del Mar, was declared a World Heritage in 1985 by UNESCO.

     

  • Catedral murcia fachada

    mapa murciaThe Murcia Cathedral (Catedral de Murcia), which has three naves, is really the most remarkable building in Murcia and the main attraction for tourists who do not miss out on the outstanding Cathedral if they have the opportunity to visit the Baroque Murcia city.

    Located in the heart of Murcia near the Segura River, La Santa Iglesia Catedral de Santa María (Saint Church Cathedral of Saint Mary) popularly known as the Catedral de Murcia (Cathedral of Murcia) was built on the site of the demolished great Aljama Mosque of Murcia between 14th and 18th centuries in several architectural styles. In fact, the interior of the Cathedral is mainly Gothic, its beautiful main facade is Baroque, the bell Tower is Renaissance and Neoclassical, and the Junterones Chapel is Renaissance.

     
    Visiting the Murcia Cathedral
    Outside the Cathedral people can see:

    The emblematic main facade of the Cathedral, which is considered to be a Baroque masterpiece, was constructed between 1735 and 1755 by the talented sculptor Jaime Bort in order to replace the first dilapidated Renaissance facade. Visitors should not leave the city without staring the main facade of the Cathedral of Murcia which is in the Cardenal Belluga Square.

    If people walk leisurely around the Cathedral from Cardenal Belluga Square they will find on the right the Apóstoles Street where are the Apóstoles Gate and its facade, and the amazing Velez Chapel facade, then if they take the Oliver street they will get the Hernández Amores Square where they can enjoy the imposing Bell Tower and the Cruz Gate and its facade.

    catedral murcia (year 1986)In the first years of the 16th century was begun the construction of the beautiful Bell Tower in renaissance style, and was finished its construction in the last years of the 18th century in Neoclassical style. It is about 96 meters in height and has 25 bells which date from 17th and 18th centuries.

    If tourists have plenty of time they can go up to the Bell Tower from where visitors can see a wonderful view of the city and surroundings.

    By the way, the previous medieval tower was demolished before building the current Renaissance tower and the Cruz Gate.

     

    Inside the Cathedral visitors can enjoy its more than 22 chapels among other artworks.

    The Vélez Chaple, which is itself a masterpiece, is richly decorated in Mudéjar, Gothic among other styles . Its construction was begun in the last years of the 15th century and was finished in the first years of the 16th century. Don’t forget to look at the impressive Dome of this chapel.

    The wonderful Junterones Chaple was finished in the middle of the 16th century being regarded as one Renaissance masterpiece, and the main Chapel and its altarpiece in the central nave are must-see places too.

    Also worthy of mention is the remarkable choir stalls in fine Plateresque style which was made in the middle of the 16th century. Moreover, the organ which is one of the largest and most important instruments in Spain dates from middle of the 19th century and was built by Merklin, it is in the Trascoro Chapel which dates from 17th century.

    Other interesting chapel is the of Santo Cristo del Milagro which has a Neoclassical altarpiece, and all the other chapels are worth a visit.

    People interested in sculptures and paintings between the 17th and 18th centuries might visit the Cathedral Museum which has an important collection of art. Moreover, the Museum has got back archaeological remains from Muslim (between 11th and 13th centuries) and other remains that were found while the Museum was being remodelled. The Museum is located in the cloister of the Cathedral.

     

     

    If you decide to travel to Murcia coast to enjoy its beaches of white sand, you can plan a visit to Murcia city. You will not regret it.

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    The Altamira Cave (la Cueva de Altamira), located in Cantabria region, was declared a World Heritage in 1985 by UNESCO. It is known as the Sixtina Chapel of the Paleolithic art. The cave was discovered in 1863, […]

  • SANTILLANA DE MAR

    A must for people who visit the north of Spain is the historic-artistic Santillana del Mar (Santillana of the Sea), one of the most beautiful villages in Spain (Cantabria). In fact, the preservation of its medieval buildings and its stone streets is itself worth a visit. Moreover, Santillana del Mar also has a lot of to offer visitors in the way of architecture, culture, nature , history, museums, festivals , leisure activities, and above all its world renowned Altamira Cave, among other things.

    SANTILLANA DE MARSantillana del Mar is situated in the north of Spain in the Cantabria region with a population of about 4,000 it is certainly the favorite destination for people who appreciate the extraordinary beauty of Santillana del Mar which is surrounded by nature.

     
    What to see in Santillana del Mar: Saint Juliana church, Velarde Palace, The Main Square…
    SANTILLANA DE MARLa Colegiata de Santa Juliana (Saint Juliana church) in Romanesque style is the most remarkable building in Santillana del Mar which was constructed in the 12th century and has a outstanding altarpiece dated between 15th and 16th centuries, its Romanesque cloister is dated from 12th century. Behind the church the imposing Velarde Palace dates from 14th century; The historic-artistic Main Square (Plaza Mayor), which is the main meeting point, is rounded by Gothic and Renaissance buildings; Merino and Borja Towers both of them in Gothic style; Gil Blas Palace from 18th century; The stunning Casa de los Hombrones (Hombrones house); The Regina Coeli Museum (religious art) dates from 16th century, among other buildings.

    Taking a walk along its medieval streets visitors can enjoy its architecture in Romanesque, Renaissance, Baroque style. Moreover, if they wander around its squares, streets and corners they will be able to come across other attractive constructions such as fountains of washing and watering areas dated from 16th and 17th centuries, and interesting landmarks.

     
    Revolgo Field Park – La Robleda
    The Revolgo Field park (la Robleda), the gardens , the surroundings, its natural beauty and its favorable location make Santillana del Mar a breathtaking scenery where people can enjoy its relaxed atmosphere doing sports or resting. By the way, local people are very fond of cycling, bowling and golf, although the bowling is the most traditional game in Santillana del Mar.

     
    Santillana Zoo
    animal zoo cantabriaThe Santillana Zoo, which takes about 20 minutes on foot from Santillana del Mar, is considered to be one of the most interesting zoos in Spain with more than 50,000 square meters, visitors will be able to stroll around seeing tigers, lions, leopards, chimpanzees, monkeys a lot of birds, butterflies, and so on in a natural environment, It is a unique experience for children who can really enjoy observing them.

    If people want to visit the whole zoo, it takes about two and a half hours. There are restaurants and bars inside the Zoo if tourists decided to spend the day enjoying the zoo. The ticket to visit the zoo costs between 10 and 18 euros.

    In conclusion, Being the town that visitors will never want to leave, Santillana del Mar is the perfect town to live or spend a holiday for children, young, middle aged and old people.

     
    Other interesting places nearby Santillana village
    Altamira Cave and Museum: The museum is located only 30min away from Santillana on foot (3km away).

    – Santa Justa Beach: It is 7 km. far away from Santillana del Mar, one sandy beach with clear water for all family in the Cantabrian Sea.

    Cantabria: Check here all our posts about Cantabria region (España).

    Top buildings and monuments in Spain: The most visited monuments in the country.

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    The Saint Mary Cathedral in Burgos, (Catedral de Santa María de Burgos), popularly known as The Burgos Cathedral is the most remarkable building in Burgos and one of most beautiful Gothic Cathedral in Spain […]

  • mezquita cordoba 2

    The Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba (La Mezquita de Córdoba) situated near the Guadalquivir river is one of the most remarkable and tourist places in Spain and in the world, and the most emblematic building in Córdoba city.  The Mosque of Cordoba is the symbol of the Andalusí art, one monument that remind us of the art and great power of the Caliphate of Cordoba during the 9th and 10th centuries.

    The Mosque of Cordoba was declared a World Heritage site in 1984 by UNESCO.

     
    History of the Great Mosque of Cordoba
    The construction of the amazing Mosque in Andalusí style began in 786 on a Visigoth church (dating in the 6th century) destroyed by order of Abderraman I (Abd ar-Rahman) (born in 731 in Damascus and died in Córdoba in 788) who wanted a great Mosque in Córdoba. In fact, he had bought the Visigoth Saint Vicente the Martyr basilica in order to built the first Mosque aljama in Córdoba in the same place.

    The Great Mosque aljama was built in different stages: Abderraman I who founded the dynasty Omeya (Umayyad) began the construction in 786; his son Hixem I (757-796) built the first minaret; Abderraman II (792-852) added eight rows; Abderraman III (891-961) constructed a new minaret in the 10th century; his son Alhaken II (915-976) added twelve naves and decorated the mihrab in the 10th century; the last construction was by Almanzor (Al-Mansur) (938-1002) who added eight naves at the end of 10th century.

    mezquita cordobaThe great Mosque of Córdoba became the second largest Mosque in the world after the Mecca Mosque in Saudi Arabia until 16th century when was built the Blue Mosque in Istanbul (Turkey).

    In 1236 Fernando III king of Castilla and León known as the Saint (1199-1252) conquered Cordoba, and the Great Mosque was converted into The Cathedral of Cordoba.

    Unfortunately in 1523 inside the Great Mosque was begun to build the main chapel in Renaissance style, the transept and the choir of the cathedral until 17th century, and as a result part of the Great Mosque constructed by Abderraman II and Armanzor was demolished to built the current cathedral. Moreover, the minaret built by Abderraman III was cover by the new baroque bell tower which was constructed in the 16th century although it is said that the minaret is still underneath the Christian bell tower.

    Therefore Charles I of Spain and V of Germany the Emperor (1500-1558) regretted having allowed the bishop of Cordoba to build inside the Great Mosque.

     
    Visiting the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba
    Nowadays, the Mosque- Cathedral of Cordoba has more than 800 granite, jasper and marble columns with double horseshoe arches, an beautiful orange tree courtyard, the incomparable miharb which is a masterpiece, the Chapel of Villaviciosa, other outstanding chapels, the beautiful choir, the bell tower and too beautiful artworks to see in only a visit.

    In conclusion, the Mosque-Cathedral covers a quadrangular area of more than 23,000 m2 full the interesting artworks. Do not leave without visiting the Mosque of Cordoba.

    In addition, People interested in night tour can visit the Mosque-Cathedal during the night because there are several guided visits in the evening and during the night. Although the visit takes place in groups about 80 people, it had better book the ticket in advance to avoid the wait and spend the free time strolling in its surroundings. It will be an unforgettable experience to know better this unique Mosque-Cathedral in Andalusí art.

    The visit costs between 9 and 18 euros and it takes about one and a half hour the guided visit. By the way, visitors can enjoy the Mosque more if they border the building to admire its more the 15 doors in its facades.

     

     
    More places to visit in Cordoba
    Medina Azahara: Medina Azahara was a luxury wall city situated on a hill to 8 km away from Cordoba. It was begun its construction in 936 by Abderraman III and finished by his son Alhaken II with the finest decoration in Andalusi style.

    Read also our recommendations about Granada and Seville and our list with the best cities and destinations of Spain.

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    Medina Azahara (Madinat al-Zahra) was a luxury wall city situated on a hill to 8 km away from Cordoba by Sierra Nevada Mountain. It was begun its construction in 936 by Abderraman III and finished by his son […]

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