The School


Founded by the Romans

In the city, the combination of its callings and its seaside, commercial and tourism is patently clear. The city’s origins are related to Portus Victoriae (Victoria Port ) founded by the Romans.

The legend says that the decapited heads of Saint Emeterious and San Celedonius came from Calahorra, avoiding the Moslem advance. They entered by the bay in a boat and crossed over a rock, the current Horadada Island, in order to be placed on Somorrostro Hill ( the current location of the Cathedral and Church of Christ). The current city name, Santander, originates from the Latin name of Saint Emeterius.

A key commercial port

The capital’s urban development would not start until the 11th century, when the town began to grow, protected by the Abbey of the Holy Bodies founded by Alfonso II, the Chaste, during the 8th century. At the beginning of the 13th century, the construction of the main church began in the same place as the previous ones.

By the 18th and 19th century, the city had become a key commercial port for the maritime routes between Castile and the American colonies, thanks to the opening of the path to Castile.


Starting in the mid-19th century, Santander became one of the most exclusive summer tourism destination of the peninsula’s northern coast. A series of tourism initiatives promoted the city’s beaches in the court and led to the creation of the Sardinero city-spa, which became the favourite holiday destination of the Spanish Royal family and high society of the kingdom’s capital. In 1908, the city gave the Magdalena Palace to King Alfonso XIII.


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