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Santander is a city where you can feel the mixture of its different vocations, sailors, commercial and touristic traditions. Santander's origin is related to Portus Victoriae established by Romans. However, the urban development of the capital in Santander wasn't until the 11th century, a date when the village started to grow under the shelter of San Emeterio's abbey. The name Santander actually comes from its name in Latin Sancti Emeterii. During the 18th and 19th centuries, Santander became a key mercantile port for the sea routes between Castilla and American colonies. From the middle of the 19th century Santander started to be one of the most picked summer resort destinations in the north coast of the peninsula.
Paseo de Pereda, with its typical viewpoint houses, and its gardens are part of an exuberant boulevard separating the coastal belt fro the old quarter in Santander. The near by Cathedral is one of the oldest buildings in Santander's capital, with a construction dating from the 13th century. In front of the Cathedral raises Plaza Porticada, with a neo-smithy style and surrounded by several public buildings. You'll find yourself in the heart of a crossroads of live commercial roads like Arrabal or Cubo. One of these streets leads to Generalísimo's plaza, where the Cit Hall lies, next to the popular Esperanza market, of modernist style.
Port and Sardinero
Back to the gardens in Pereda, there are Banco de Santander and Palacete del Embarcadero, this last building has great views to the bay. Here are the fishing port and Puerto Chico. Santander shows from here the beautiful beaches of Peligros, Magdalena and Biquinis, with calm waters and protected from the wind by the bay. In the most touristic Santander there is El Sardinero. In front of this famous beach you can enjoy one of the most beautiful sea tours in Spain, with sumptuous buildings, like Gran Casino, which evoke the architecture of the Belle Époque. Plaza de Italia, with charming and live summer terraces, and the Gardens of Piquío, on a rocky entrance separating the two beaches in El Sardinero, completes the panoram.