We have to go back to the XNUMXth century, to find out about the origins of the Collegiate Church of Santillana del Mar in a place known, then, as Planes, whose origins are probably Roman and which was repopulated in the XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries, on the occasion of the Reconquest.


Pilgrim monks, apparently, brought to this place the remains of the martyr “Sancta Iuliana de Bitinia”, where they founded a peculiar monastery, which very soon became known, among other reasons, because it was visited by many pilgrims who made the Camino de Santiago del Norte, to venerate the relics where the aforementioned Saint was found.

Later, the place of Planes changed its name to the current Santillana (contraction of Sancta Iuliana). Given the importance of the place, from the first moment, it had the protection of nobles and kings of all ages, which leads to the economic and social growth of the town, including the transformation of the old monastery, first into an abbey and finally into what today it is the current Collegiate Church in the XNUMXth century.

The Collegiate Church of Santillana de Mar is the most important Romanesque religious monument in Cantabria, being declared National Monument of Spain in the year 1889.

Sculpturally, the Collegiate Church consists of three naves with four sections and a transept, three semicircular apses, a cylindrical tower and a dome over the transept.


Main altarpiece, made between the end of the XNUMXth century and the beginning of the XNUMXth century.
– On the South facade, the Maiestas Sundayi, carrying the Book of Life.
Cloister (43th century), which consists of XNUMX Romanesque capitals, some as impressive as (Baptism of Christ and slaughter, Daniel in the lions’ den, Knight fighting with the dragon), to name a few of them.

It is considered that the Collegiate Church of Santillana has a sculptural importance, on a par with the Romanesque Church of San Martín (located in Frómista, where the pilgrims who hire our Camino de Santiago organized on the route of the Cantabrian coast)


Santillana del Mar known as (town of the 3 lies, since it is neither Santa, nor flat, nor has a sea) is considered one of the most beautiful towns in Spain surrounded by a privileged environment and a magnificent and well-preserved cultural heritage and historical, as well as its wonderful urban area, with a great wealth of residential palaces and stately homes.


– The Altamira Caves (Paleolithic Sistine Chapel), declared a “World Heritage Site”, is located near the town.
– Torres del Merino and Don Borja.
– Palace of the Velarde.
– House of the Hombrones.
– City Hall Palace.
– Palace of the Barreda.
– House of the Quiros – Velasco.

Santillana del Mar and the entire Camino del Norte is a travel option for those pilgrims who have a minimum physical condition, since the orography and the layout is not so linear that if you did the Camino de Santiago from Sarria organized, where the stages are very flat and suitable for people of any age and with little physical shape. However, having said this, on any of our routes we always recommend taking short walks as training, so that once we start the march our body knows how to react.