Famous people Route

Discover Santander’s recently opened Famous People Route.

Santander’s Famous People Route, a new cultural tourist activity to stroll through Santander looking at it differently, following the steps of the most prominent celebrities that have left their print on the city.

This tour recalls the people, linked to the cultural, artistic, scientific or social areas, people who were born, lived or worked in the city.

Would you like to discover who these famous people were, name plaque by name plaque? Below we detail the location of each plaque, as well as the most relevant information about these people.

José María de Pereda

Plaque location:  C/Hernán Cortés, 9 (Edifico Macho)


One of the top representatives of realist regionalist novels. He died in the house that previously occupied this site on the 1st of March, 1906.
José María de Pereda y Sánchez Porrúa stands out due to his unique literary work, which turned him into an author who was different from the writers of his time. This was the opinion of Benito Pérez Galdós, who knew him well, or the scholar Marcelino Menéndez Pelayo, who saw in Pereda the best contemporary representative of literature in his homeland and the one who knew best how to embody traditional Santander life.

José María de Pereda is the main exponent of the realist regionalist novel genre.

Augusto González de Linares

Plaque location: Paseo General Dávila, 20


One of the most prominent naturalist scientists of the 19th century.
He died in the house that previously occupied this site on the 1st of May, 1904.

He stood out for being one of the most prominent scientists of the 19th century, in addition to being one of the founders of the Institución Libre de Enseñanza (Free Institution of Education). He started up the Spanish Marine Biology Station in Santander in 1886, which he directed until his death. This institution was devoted to the study of marine flora and fauna, as well as the preparation of scientific collections for museums. At that time there were only four similar centres in the world. Today, the station continues to operate under the name of Centro Oceanográfico de Santander (Santander Oceanographic Centre).

Luis Quintanilla Isasi

Ubicación de la placa: Paraninfo de la Universidad de Cantabria (C/ Sevilla)


This building houses the fresco paintings (Asset of Cultural Interest), which he painted for the 1939 International Exhibition.

The painter from Santander, Luis Quintanilla was one of the most prominent Spanish painters of the first half of the 20th century. His work ‘Ama la paz y odia la guerra’(Love peace and hate war), formed by five fresco paintings that depict the horrors of the Civil War, is his most representative work. Commissioned by the Government of the Republic, it was lost in the 1940s and appeared in 1990 in a porn cinema in New York. Currently, it is on display in the Assembly Hall of the University of Cantabria.

Marcelino Sanz de Sautuola

Plaque location:  C/ Pedrueca, 1

Naturalist and prehistorian He discovered the cave paintings in the Altamira Caves.
He was born, lived and died in this house.

Biography summary:
Marcelino Sanz de Sautuola had the privilege to be the first person, along with his daughter Maria, to see the figures on the ceiling of the Altamira cave, the first place in the world where the existence of Cave Paintings from the Upper Palaeolithic era were identified. And although his extensive training in History and Natural Sciences allowed him to make an accurate and lucid analysis, attributing these paintings to Prehistoric times, specifically to the Palaeolithic period, the prehistorians of the time received his conclusions with great scepticism. Marcelino Sanz de Sautuola did not live to enjoy the scientific confirmation of his proposition, which finally came in 1902.


Gerardo Diego

Plaque location: Avda. Calvo Sotelo, 8 (actual edificio INSS)

A prominent poet of the Generation of ‘27
He was born in the house that existed on this site on the 3rd of October, 1896.

Gerardo Diego was born in Santander on the 3rd of October, 1896. From very early on, he was an outstanding member and one of the promoters of the Generation of ’27. The poet from Santander was, during his lifetime, one of the most well-known authors in Spain and he received honours and awards until the end of his days, such as the National Poetry Prize, which he won twice (1925 and 1956). But his most important acknowledgement came in 1979, with the granting of the Miguel de Cervantes Prize, which he shared with Jorge Luis Borges.


José Hierro

Plaque location: C/ Cádiz, 20


Poet, art critic and academic from the Spanish Royal Academy of Language.
He lived in this house. The bar located to the right of this doorway was his regular writing place.

The poet Pepe Hierro was always linked to Santander, where he spent his childhood and was named adoptive son of the city. He published his first work in this city, “Tierra sin nosotros”, through the magazine Proel in 1946. This author is considered to be one of the top representatives of social post-war poetry. He received many prizes, amongst which the Prince of Asturias Prize in 1981 and the Cervantes Prize in 1998 stand out.


The “Santander’s Famous People” project is an ongoing programme, with the progressive adding of plaques of famous people. We will publish any new information on this point on our social media accounts.