On the occasion of the visit of a friend of mine who is doing the Camino del Norte, I (re)visited Santillana del Mar, a small village very close to my home city that is branded as one of the most beautiful villages in Spain.
Santillana del Mar stands out thanks to its Romanesque collegiate church, its civil architecture going from the Gothic to the Neoclassicism, its charming cobbled streets and, last but not least, thanks to the presence in its vicinity of the Cave of Altamira, world-renowned for hosting numerous parietal cave paintings dating from the Upper Paleolithic.
But Santillana del Mar is not only renowned for its achievements, but also for its flaws. If we split Santillana del Mar into its three constituent words, ‘santa’ (Saint), ‘llana’ (flat) and ‘mar’ (sea), we might think that this village was named after a Saint and that it is located on flat ground by the sea. But no, Santillana del Mar is neither a Saint, nor flat, nor is it by the sea. This is why it is known as ‘the Town of Three Lies’.
Here below a short photographic report. I hope you enjoy it.