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Santander The capital of Cantabria has a splendid location between the mountains and the sea and near the mouth of a deep bay Foto, where its busy port is situated.

The city stretches along the coast around a peninsula where there are a park and a zoo. In this area there is the Magdalena Palace Foto, built in 1912 as a summer residence for the king Alfonso XII and his family. Today it houses the "Menendez y Pelayo" International University where summer courses are imparted.

In the north side of the promontory there is "El Sardinero" Foto, a famous beach with an elegant summer resort from the beginning of the twentieth century. This long and sandy beach Foto has many elegant cafes and a grand casino Foto. In July and August the "Playa del Sardinero" offers an important stage for theatre and music festivals.

The fact that the Spanish Royal Family chose Santander as a summer residence attracted luxury tourism and Santander acquired the elegant appearance it still enjoys today. The "Hotel Real" Foto and the "Gran Hotel el Sardinero" Foto would welcome the most distinguished summer visitors. The Real Club de Tenis and the Gran Casino Foto were meeting places frequented by the upper class.
The center of Santander is modern, because it has been completely rebuilt after a terrible fire in 1941. Nevertheless the restoration was so successful that it allows us today to enjoy a monumental tour covering many impressive buildings:

We start our walk at "Jardines de Pereda" Foto, a park plenty of magnolias, palm trees and monuments dedicated to prominent personalities of Cantabria. When we walk through these lovely gardens we arrive to the Bank of Santander Foto, one of the most emblematic buildings in town. Moving just a few steps further there is the Plaza de Pombo Foto square surrounded by beautiful buildings like the Royal Yacht Club.

Passing the neo-baroque church of Santa Lucia Foto we arrive to the buiding of Banesto Foto. Built in 1902, it stands out for its ornamental profusion.

The "Hernan Cortes" Street leads us to the Plaza Porticada Foto, a landmark of the city and an animated meeting place throughout the year. Approaching the sea we find "Correos y Telégrafos" Foto, beautiful building of the Post Office in Cantabrian style, right next to the neoclassical building of the Bank of Spain Foto.

Santander's gothic Cathedral Foto was completely rebuilt after the fire of 1941. Nevertheless it still conserves its original twelfth century crypt. Very close to it there is the Church of the Jesuits Foto with its striking architecture.

The commercial street Juan de Herrera leads us to the heart of the city where we again find important monuments: The Town Hall Foto built in 1907, the Museum of Fine Arts, which exhibits works by Goya, Zurbarán, Mengs as well as regional artists and the House-Museum and Library Menéndez y Pelayo Foto. From here to "Cuatro Caminos" street we can experience the atmosphere of the commercial heart of the city.

The Museum of Prehistory and Archaeology of Cantabria presents findings from the many prehistoric caves of Cantabria, as well as from Roman times.

The Cantabrian Maritime Museum is located at the Santander Bay. It disposes of over 3,000 square metres and is divided into four main sections: Life at sea, dedicated to marine biology, fishermen and fisheries, centring on fishing ethnography, the Cantabrian region and the sea in history and the technological avant-garde.

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