C A N T A B R I A   U N I V E R S I T Y
  ARTISTIC ROUTES IN LIÉBANA   From la Hermida to Potes
From Potes to Fuente Dé
From Potes to Piedrasluengas
From Potes to San Glorio
    Hórreo. (Camaleño)   The district of Liébana is located in southeastern Cantabria and, bordered by the regions of Asturias, León and Palencia, has a extension of 540 square kilometres and includes seven districts. It is a mountainous land which comprises several valleys.

As well as the magnificent examples of medieval and Baroque architecture, the very well preserved popular architecture of this area is remarkable in every district. This architecture is characterised by the use of stone, brick, wood, masonry and roof tile and wooden framework on the façades, as well as by closed spaces attached to the balconies made of interwoven hazel tree staves called sietos, or simply of tables forming attics or a drying room. There is also remarkable carving work on eaves and balconies. Another particular characteristic of popular architecture in Liébana is the bread-oven, a hemispherical vault projecting from the façade. The barns, raised off the floor with wooden stilts are outstanding in Liébana where only some examples remain, these being today almost extinct.

From la Hermida to Potes

The district of Liébana is reached by the rocky mountain path of La Hermida, a sublime narrow pass dug out of the limestone of the mountain, along the river Deva. Well inside this pass, there is the first artistically important building in the area; the Mozarabic pre-Romanesque church of Santa María de Lebeña, one of the oldest monuments in Cantabria, founded in 925 by the count of Liébana and his wife Justa in the re-settlement period.

Driving along the road to Potes, just before Tama, there is a turning to San Pedro de Bedoya in the district of Cillórigo, where the House-Tower of Ceballos can be appreciated with good coats of arms on its façade, along with an homogeneous popular architectural ensemble. Going on that road, one finds Salarzón, where the church and casona ensemble, built by the Gómez de la Cortina family, can be found.

Returning to the highway road one reaches Potes, the centre and capital village of the district, where the Tower of Infantado stands in the join between the rivers of Deva and Quiviesa, in the centre of the village, witness of medieval events used by the Mendoza family as a defensive bastion in their fights against the town-council of the village. There is another tower the same period, which belonged to Orejón de la Lama, part-owner against the Marquis of Santillana. The church of San Vicente is a Gothic building with new pieces attached to it in later periods, at present in a poor state of preservation. 17th and 18th century lay architecture with well-kept illustrious casonas is outstanding. Finally, the popular houses of the old area of Potes, El Sol and La Solana, confer a certain charm.

Santa María de Lebeña
Church of Salarzón
Casona of Ceballos
(San Pedro de Bedoya)
Tower of the Infantado
  A R T I S T I C   R O U T E S