It is believed to have been a port since ancient times, due to its favorable location, and is documented as far back as the 11th century. Much of the medieval city was lost in the Great Fire of 1941. Today, its remaining old town, beach and other attractions are popular with tourists and other visitors and its economy is mainly service based. The port is still very active and a regular ferry service operates to the United Kingdom. Fish and seafood dominate the local cuisine. Santander notably houses the headquarters of multinational bank Banco Santander, which was founded there.
Tourism and sights
The bars and restaurants of the old town are popular with tourists, as well as the El Sardinero beach a couple of kilometres away. Santander CathedralBuilding of Bank of Santander, where it originated and where it has its registered office.Mouro IslandLa Magdalena royal palaceVitalicio building, former headquarters of Banco Vitalicio
The Cathedral of Santander: The lower temple, called “cripta del Cristo” was built around 1200 on other earlier Roman buildings. It is 31 metres (102 ft) long and 18 metres (59 ft) wide, organised into three naves. Its style is a transition from romanesque to gothic.
The Lighthouse of Cabo Mayor presides over the entrance to the Bay of Santander.
Parque de la Vaguada de las Llamas is one of the largest parks in northern Spain, covering 11 hectares (27 acres) of the city.
Santander is pilot for a Smart city. It is embedded with 12,000 sensors.