Top Historic Sights in Santander, Spain

Explore the historic highlights of Santander

Santander Cathedral

Santander Cathedral was built between the end of the 12th century and the 14th century on top of the former Santander Abbey. The church was built from the 8th century on the hill known as Cerro de Somorrostro, surrounded by water, where the Roman settlement of Portus Victoriae Iuliobrigensium had previously been located, in order to keep safe the relics of the saints martyred in Calahorra five centuries before, wh ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Santander, Spain

Museum of Prehistory and Archaeology of Cantabria

Cantabria Prehistory and Archaeology Museum conserves all the artefacts and remains recovered by archaeological excavations in the region. It therefore has collections of stone and bone objects from all the decorated caves, such as La Garma, Altamira, El Castillo and El Pendo. The Museum was founded in the early twentieth century with the material collected mainly by J. Carballo. It was initially located in Sobrellano Pa ...
Founded: 1926 | Location: Santander, Spain

Palacio de la Magdalena

The Palacio de la Magdalena was built between 1909 and 1911, by popular subscription, to house the Spanish Royal Family. Built by the architects Javier González Riancho and Gonzalo Bringas Vega, is located in the place where the old Fort of San Salvador de Hano was, which protected the entrance to the bay. The design and construction of the palace were overseen by architects Javier González de Riancho and Gonzalo Bring ...
Founded: 1909-1911 | Location: Santander, Spain

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Château d'Olhain

The Château d'Olhain is probably the most famous castle of the Artois region. It is located in the middle of a lake which reflects its picturesque towers and curtain walls. It was also a major stronghold for the Artois in medieval times and testimony to the power of the Olhain family, first mentioned from the 12th century.

The existence of the castle was known early in the 13th century, but the present construction is largely the work of Jean de Nielles, who married Marie d’Olhain at the end of the 15th century.

The marriage of Alix Nielles to Jean de Berghes, Grand Veneur de France (master of hounds) to the King, meant the castle passed to this family, who kept it for more than 450 years. Once confiscated by Charles Quint, it suffered during the wars that ravaged the Artois. Besieged in 1641 by the French, it was partly demolished by the Spaniards in 1654, and finally blown-up and taken by the Dutch in 1710. Restored in 1830, it was abandoned after 1870, and sold by the last Prince of Berghes in 1900. There is also evidence that one of the castles occupants was related to Charles de Batz-Castelmore d'Artagnan, the person Alexandre Dumas based his Three Musketeers charictor d'Artagnan on.

During the World War I and World War II, the castle was requisitioned first by French troops, then Canadian and British soldiers. The current owner has restored the castle to its former glory.