This area is where you should lose yourself in the city’s streets and experience the rhythm of the Cantabrian capital city. It is an ideal place for going shopping or for having a drink and a snack.
1. Cantabrian Parliament
It is located in one of the oldest areas of the city. To reach it, go up the Cuesta del Hospital, a route with steps that is opposite the City Hall. This building was the former Hospital de San Rafael. In 1987, when the refurbishment work was finished, it was turned into the Regional Parliament.
2. Convent of Santa Cruz
Opposite the Cantabrian Parliament this convent founded in the 17th century can be found. It was declared a Site of Cultural Interest in 1982.
3. Parque del Agua
The ‘Water Park’ represents the river course from its birth to where it runs into the sea.
4. Church of La Consolación
Built in the 18th century, this classicist baroque style building is one of the oldest still conserved in the city.
5. Rampa de la Sotileza
Here you will find two works that recall the marine nature of the Cabildo de Arriba, where the sea reached in former times. The first of them is fixed to the wall and reproduces the first paragraph of a novel by Pereda. The second is a mast that is ten metres high, with the figure of a woman looking through a spyglass looking for the fishermen who are at sea.
6. Menéndez Pelayo Library
It holds a total of 45,000 volumes of great importance and high historic and heritage value, such as the manuscripts by Quevedo, Lope de Vega and Menéndez Pelayo himself.
7. Menéndez Pelayo House-museum
Built in 1876, it was opened to the public after the scholar’s death, conserving some of the furniture and fittings in the same place. Currently it is closed.
8. Contemporary Art Museum (MAS)
Since its foundation in 1908, it has constantly been evolving until becoming what it is today: a place for meeting and exchanging ideas. A museum that promotes knowledge of modern, contemporary and today’s art. It is closed at present for refurbishment.
9. Centro de Documentación de la Imagen de Santander (CDIS)(Santander Image Documentation Centre)
Its aim is the historical recovery through photographic heritage, which is restored and displayed in its exhibition hall that is open to the public.
10. La Alameda primera
From the CDIS, walk down Calle Peñas Redondas until you reach c/ Burgos, a pedestrian walkway that formed part of the now lost Alameda Primera, where the first bullring was found. The street opens up into the Plaza de Numancia, in which its nineteenth century streetlights with inscriptions in remembrance of famous people from the city. The Mies del Valle stream runs through here, which ends in the Ría de Becedo.
11. La Alameda de Oviedo or Alameda Segunda
This is one of the main leisure areas in the city, as it has a varied offer of shops and restaurants and bars. Here you will be able to eat little snails, mussels and squid that turn the Santander aperitif into a tradition.
12. Cuatro Caminos
At the end of the Alameda you reach Cuatro Caminos, a circular roundabout that is presided over by the sphere representing the signs of the Zodiac. Currently, it connects six, not four, streets: Avenida de Valdecilla, Calle Alta, San Fernando, Camilo Alonso Vega and the Avenida de Pedro San Martín, which you have to walk along to reach the next point on the route.
13. Barrio de Pronillo
To reach the Barrio de Pronillo you have to walk up to the Glorieta de los Osos. Along the way you will pass the Amaro Group, with working-class origins and Las Salesas Courthouse. Once there, the premises of the Traída de Aguas (Water Museum) may be visited, which includes a display that explains the history of the city’s water supply, from 1874 to the present day, as well as the water cycle.
14. Palacio de Riva-Herrera. Santander Smart Demonstration Centre
Declared a Site of Cultural Interest, it is a medieval tower that was refurbished in the 15th century. Currently, it is the head offices of Fundación Santander Creativa, one of the most important cultural centres in Santander.
15. Hospital Universitario Marqués de Valdecilla
From the Palacio, go down c/ de la Rosa, and you will reach the Hospital Universitario Marqués de Valdecilla, one of the best healthcare centres in the country. Founded in 1929, it arose by popular demand thanks to the sponsorship of Ramón Pelayo, Marquis of Valdecilla, and it replaced the former Hospital de San Rafael. From the very start, it became a reference centre, thanks to its innovations in the study of medicine.
Also known as ‘Coso de Cuatro Caminos’, it was opened in 1890 with a capacity for 11,700 people. Created by Alfredo de la Escalera, it has a diameter of 51 metres, general seating and two stands. There is a neo-Mudéjar style arcade over the upper floor, decorated with the ‘brands’ of the main Spanish bull breeders.
17. Mercado and plaza de México
A tribute to the American Indians who emigrated to this country, the food market with the same name is also found in this square.