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A Day in Santander

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Paseo de Pereda y calle Castelar

This is a great place to take a walk and admire the buildings dating from the end of the 18th Century up to the early 20th Century, with ornamental balconies and watchtowers. There are lots of bars and cafés where you can stop for a refreshment. 1500 meters long, the paseo starts from Plaza Porticada and runs down to Puerto Chico (Small Port). Calle Castelar runs between Paseo de Pereda, Cuesta del Gas and Dique de Gamazo (Gamazo Jetty). Fine public buildings like the Banco Vitalicio and the Siboney are on this stretch.

Paseo de Pereda, Calle Castelar, Santander, Spagna, 39001
Menéndez Pelayo House, Museum & Library

This is one of the most important cultural repositories in the Santander region. The city council commissioned the building especially to house the literary collection of Marcelino Menéndez Pelayo (1856-1912) after his death. It was declared a national monument in 1982. Inside the impressive building, the erudite writer's study has been preserved, along with his reading room and library. Natural overhead lighting beautifully illuminates the glass-fronted oak bookshelves that hold some 42,000 volumes, including 563 original manuscripts and 23 rare early books. The Menéndez Pelayo family home, built in 1876, can also be visited. The house was still lived in up until 1935 when the Menéndez Pelayo Society purchased it to establish a museum.

Calle de Rubio 6, Santander, Spagna, 39001
Cantabrian Maritime Museum

This museum, in a modern two-story building, opened to the public in 1981, although its origins date back to 1886. Inside, all aspects of marine life are represented, from tanks of sting rays, sharks and turtles to displays explaining the daily life of Santander's fishermen. Other sections are devoted to ship building, the different types of boats used locally, marine cartography, navigation systems and water sports. The museum also programs temporary exhibitions and runs its own research projects. These vary from investigations in marine biology to the techniques and practice of sub-aquatic archaeology. The sea has always played an important role in Santander's history, and this museum is a fascinating place to visit and find out more.

Calle de Muelle de San Martín, Santander, Spagna, 39004
Playa Primera de El Sardinero

Particularly popular with families and water sports enthusiasts, this beach is 330 meters long and covers a total area of around 18000 square meters. The event which made the beach famous over 150 years ago, the Baños de Ola, is still celebrated here every summer. The beach is well looked after and facilities include nearby parking, sun umbrellas, lifeguards, a nursery for small children and showers. It is cleaned every day and there are bins for your rubbish. It has been awarded the European Union's "Blue Flag" in recognition of its cleanliness and the excellent facilities available. It's a well known landmark located in front of Plaza de Italia and the Gran Casino.

Plaza de Italia, Santander, Spagna, 39005
Playa de La Magdalena

Along with Peligros and Bikinis beaches, Magdalena beach is within the bay itself, south-facing and sheltered from the north-east wind which often blows across the beaches on the Ensenada del Sardinero (El Sardinero Cove). Views out over the bay are truly spectacular. The beach is 350 meters long, with fine golden sand and it is popular throughout the year. Be careful, however, particularly at low tide, of the steep slope down into the water. Facilities are good, Magdalena has been awarded the European Community's Blue Flag and has parking, showers, lifeguards, and bins. Like most of the beaches in Santander, it is cleaned daily. For safety reasons, windsurfers and sailing boats must stay within a restricted area.

Avenida Reina Victoria, Santander, Spagna, 39005
Palacio Real de La Magdalena

This wonderful building is well-known as the headquarters of Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo (Menéndez Pelayo International University). It was built in 1909 and became the summer retreat of Alfonso XIII in 1913, and the Royal Family continued using it until 1930. In 1977, along with the rest of the peninsula, it was taken over by the city to become a public park. The building has since undergone an ambitious refit and is now equipped with all the latest technology for conferences and meetings. There are around 20 conference rooms as well as dining rooms. Facilities include air conditioning, a simultaneous translation system, CCTV, loudspeakers, video units, Internet connections and computers. The building is only open during conferences and in the summer months when it is used by students and teachers.

Calle de la Familia Real, Santander, Spagna, 39005
Grotta di Altamira

Cave of Altamira, or the Cueva De Altamira, is a cave in Santillana del Mar that is renowned for its Paleolithic paintings. The Altamira features polychrome cave art depicting animals like bison, horses and deer, alongside handprints and some mysterious symbols. Remarkably well-preserved and astonishing in their creativity, artistic flair and refined taste, these prehistoric paintings are noted by UNESCO as 'humanity's earliest accomplished art' and the exemplars of artwork developed between 35,000 to 11,000 BCE; they are some of the first emblems of the human thirst for aesthetic beauty and penchant for creative expression. Found in 1879 by the amateur archaeologist, Marcelino Sanz de Sautuola, the cave came under the scrutiny of acclaimed scientists and was later declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Managed by the Museo De Altamira, access is granted to only a limited number of visitors each year to preserve the integrity of these prehistoric relics, making a visit to the Cave of Altamira a much-coveted experience for those intrigued by the lost world of our ancestors.

Santillana del Mar, Santillana del Mar, Spagna, 39360
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