C A N T A B R I A   U N I V E R S I T Y
  ROUTES IN THE EASTERN AREA     Santoña - Bien Aparecida
Laredo and Liendo
Castro Urdiales and Guriezo
Laredo and Liendo.  
    Church of Santa María de la Asunción (St Mary of the Assumption)
  Driving along the Bilbao highway one reaches Laredo, a remarkable village in the history of Cantabria which retains an important medieval artistic heritage. Firstly, it is worth mentioning the Gothic church of Santa María de la Asunción, where the altarpiece of Belén is found. Around it is La Puebla Vieja and El Arrabal, former nuclei of the village, where there are remains of a rampart on which the gates of Santa María la Blanca and Bilbao open. La Puebla Vieja is formed by six streets, three vertical and three horizontal, from the times of Alfonso VIII, who granted the Fuero to Laredo in 1200. The urban plan of La Puebla Vieja was originally Gothic, with later renovations and attached pieces. Casonas, palaces, towers, etc. constitute a valuable ensemble. It is worth remarking the 18th century house of Zarauz, the houses of Villota, Hernando de Alvarado, Gutiérrez de Rada, La Hoz, Diego Cacho, etc.. Just in La Puebla Vieja, one finds San Francisco Convent, now the convent of the Trinitarians, built thanks to the works of charity of the Franciscans during the 1568 plague. As a reward, these were allowed to live in the house of the Villotas family in the village, and a year later their convent was built. In a later urban extension, the Town Hall was constructed in La Puebla Vieja, as a sign of the urban transition from La Puebla Vieja to modern Laredo. This is one of the most interesting Renaissance buildings in Cantabria with an important group of 19th century houses.

On the Bilbao highway one finds the turning to the district of Liendo, where different casonas and Baroque palaces characterise the various districts, as well as a rich 19th century architectural ensemble (houses of indianos, regionalist villas...). In the district of Hazas is the hall plan church of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción, of the early 17th century with a varied collection of altarpieces. It is worth remarking that numerous sculptors and master stonemasons are from this district. In the district of Villaviad, the 16th century hermitage of San Andrés may be found, having one of the few stone altarpieces in Cantabria.

Altarpiece of Belén (Bethlehem) in the church of Santa María de la Asunción
San Francisco Convent (St Francis)
Town Hall
  A R T I S T I C   R O U T E S