An Alternative Guide to travelling in Spain and Portugal on a Small Budget
Santillana del Mar, Cantabria in pictures
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The central square in Santillana del Mar is a busy place which attracts masses of tourists thanks to its shops, restaurants and traditional bakers. There is also a museum here.
The windows and balconies of many houses are covered with ivy and colourful flowers in hanging baskets and pots .
Blue skies seemed to be a permanent fixture and created a great promontory for the stone buildings of Santillana del Mar.
Through the stone arches there is a plethora of traditional shops including bakers and leather makers along with music and clothing retailers.
The streets here are not so narrow and the rooftops provide some interesting architectural quirks.
This is the Colegiata; a Romanesque church which holds the remains of Santa Illana (derived from Santa Juliana) who gave the town its name.
The roof of this building, which is drenched in symbolism, has unusual stacks which at first appear to be chimneys. They are purely decorative although may have served a meaningful purpose at some point.
The people of Santillana del Mar never miss an opportunity to pretty the town up with flowers and hanging baskets. It is a vibrant town in character, history and personnel.