"SANTILLANA DEL MAR" Top 5 Page for this destination Santillana by breughel

Santillana Travel Guide: 70 reviews and 184 photos

AN OVERRATED VALUE ?

Is Santillana del Mar, medieval village very appreciated and advanced by the Spanish tourism, an overrated value?

As "medieval" urban entity, improper term because the majority of houses date from the 17th and 18th century, Santillana presents an indisputable architectural homogeneity. No building posterior to the 18th century spoils the sight or even the horizon. It is this homogeneity which makes its charm.

On the other hand if we take as criterion the "monumental" character of the buildings of Santillana, it is sure that numerous small or big Spanish or European cities possess ancient districts presenting a greater historic or architectural value than this village of Cantabria.
Except for the collegiate church and the convent, the monumental value of the other old buildings can disappoint the international tourist.

Personally I found the place charming because of its medieval urban homogeneity and, by staying in the Parador, it was a good base of excursions towards Altamira, Santander and the coast of Cantabria.

UNE VALEUR SURFAITE ?

Santillana del Mar, village médiéval très prisé et mis en avant par le tourisme espagnol, est-il une valeur surfaite?

Laissez-moi nuancer ma réponse.
Comme entité urbaine "médiévale", terme incorrect car la majorité des habitations datent du XVII et XVIII siècle, Santillana présente une incontestable homogénéité architecturale. Aucun immeuble postérieur au XVIIIe siècle ne vient déparer la vue ni même l'horizon qui est un horizon de verdure. C'est cette homogénéité qui fait son charme et son attrait surtout pour les touristes Espagnols (il y a relativement peu de touristes non Espagnols).

Par contre si l'on prend comme critère le caractère "monumental" des immeubles de Santillana, il est certain que de nombreuses villes espagnoles ou européennes, petites ou grandes, possèdent des quartiers anciens présentant une valeur historique ou architecturale plus grande que ce village de Cantabrie.
A part la collégiale et le monastère la valeur monumentale des autres bâtiments anciens fort simples peut décevoir le touriste international.

Personnellement j'ai trouvé l'endroit charmant a cause de son homogénéité urbaine médiévale et, en logeant au Parador, c'était une bonne base d'excursions vers Altamira, Santander et la côte de Cantabrie.

  • Last visit to Santillana: Jun 2006
  • Intro Updated Mar 1, 2011
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Reviews (11)

Comments (9)

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Jan 1, 2012 at 1:51 PM

    I think they are absolutely right not to allow any more visits to the original Altamira cave – same as in Lascaux.

  • alza's Profile Photo
    Sep 25, 2011 at 9:11 AM

    My brother just wrote from Santillana, made me curious. I'd never heard of it! Your page is most interesting, tks. (Architecture almost too homogeneous to me but still...) About the bison, you've got mail! :)

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo
    Jun 13, 2011 at 12:39 PM

    You have some very interesting comments and pictures. The cave was especially of interest. Good job of presenting here. WE go to Barcelona in October to pick up cruise ship to US

  • Pawtuxet's Profile Photo
    Jul 31, 2009 at 2:11 PM

    You find some very interesting places to visit. Think I'd really enjoy these old streets and monastary.

  • RudoElCojonudo's Profile Photo
    Oct 17, 2008 at 9:39 AM

    congratulations! it's a really good site!

  • TheWanderingCamel's Profile Photo
    Apr 25, 2007 at 5:55 PM

    Nice memeories here. I was lucky enough to visit Altamira before the cave was closed, and Santillana before the tourists began to arrive in large numbers- a magical place. leyle

  • nickandchris's Profile Photo
    Mar 26, 2007 at 9:43 AM

    More fantastic architecture here. You are right; we all expect everybody to speak English. How many Brits speak a foreign language????

  • LanaFromRiga's Profile Photo
    Mar 17, 2007 at 9:30 AM

    You saw more than we. The cave of Altamira was closed. :-( But we enjoyed the sunshine almost 5 days during our trip to Asturias and Cantabria.

  • LoriPori's Profile Photo
    Mar 16, 2007 at 4:54 PM

    Very enjoyable page on Santillana. We visited a similar cave in Nerja. We love southern Spain's Costa del Sol region, but really should explore more of what the rest of Spain has to offer. Greets from Canada. Lori

breughel

“Heureux qui, comme Ulysse, a fait un beau voyage”

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