C A N T A B R I A   U N I V E R S I T Y
Modern Age
19th century
Picturesqueness and Regionalism
From Rationalism to Present-Day
City Map
The Modern Age.  
    Church of la Compañía   In the mid-16th century Santander became a Renaissance town. The square of Cantón was built in the New Town, and three important buildings stood there: the Town Hall, Riva-Herrera House and the Jesuit College, of which only the church of La Compañia de Jesús remains.

The Riva-Herrera family was particularly eminent in Renaissance Santander. The family came originally from Gajano, where their fortified tower still remains. They controlled the harbour: and Don Fernando de Riva-Herrera was captain of the fleets that sailed from Santander to Flanders laden with wool. He held the position of Provisioner General of the Armadas of the Ocean. The family had a fortified house in Pronillo which became a palace in the mid-16th century. This family was also responsible for the chapel named after them in the Gospel nave of the cathedral.

Also of this period was the Convent of St Francis, now gone, and the surviving Convent of Santa Cruz (present Tabacalera building). The Order of Barefoot Clarists was expelled from the convent in 1835; the Tabacalera factory has been here since 1838.

The church of Consolación is Baroque, while the Hospital of St Raphael (now home to the Regional Parliament) founded in the late 18th century belongs to the Enlightenment period. This building bears the mark of the incipiently modish hygienist theories of its day, with its advanced ventilation and a location deliberately distant from the city centre.

Before addressing the 19th century one should mention the Ensanche ("Extension") of Santander. The re-opening of the Reinosa Road and the heavier harbour-traffic that this implied made it necessary to enlarge the harbour and adapt it to new requirements. This changed the city. The improvement and extension of the docks, along with a number of in-fillings, made room for a new and more rationally-planned conurbation.

Palacio of Pronillo
Convent of Santa Cruz
Chapel of the Riva-Herrera
Church of Consolación
Hospital of St Raphael
Ensanche de Santande (Urban extension)
  T O W N S   A N D   C I T I E S