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: The 19th century.  
    Church of Santa Lucía   19th and 20th century architecture is well-represented in Santander. During this period buildings were made in the historicist, eclectic, modernist, "picturesque", rationalist and regionalist styles.

The church of Santa Lucía stands out as an eclectic building by Antonio de Zabaleta, the architect who introduced Romanticism into Spanish architecture. It was built in 1868: a time when, because of the Mendizábal Suppression, there was a diminished number of churches in the city. Two decades later religious architecture in the city became fundamentally Gothic-Revival, the first church of this kind being the new church and hall of residence of Sagrado Corazón de los Padres Jesuitas. This building made the way for the following Gothic-Revival churches in Santander: Padres Salesianos, Carmelitas, Salesas, and Redentoristas.

Commentary: Again the classicistic Baroque so often seen in Cantabria. The north As for lay architecture, one should mention the Banco Mercantil building of 1900 by Casimiro Pérez de la Riva. It is an eclectic building par excellence. Another example of eclecticism is the City Hall (1897). Its construction was linked to the Suppression 1835, as it occupied the original ground of the Convent of St Francis - which, though previously a peripheral location, was by then firmly city-centre. On the other hand the Machichaco disaster of 1893 caused city amenities, previously on the waterfront, to start relocating further inland; thus did the city centre shift to the present City Hall square. The original City Hall was half the size it is now. The demolition of the church of St Francis in 1836 -justified at the time by town-planning problems- allowed room for the enlargement of the City Hall. This was carried out by replicating the original building on the opposite side of the square and then joining up the two sections with an intervening structure of a deliberately regionalist style.

The extension of the City Hall was framed within a Special Plan of municipal works, that also included the building of the Market of Esperanza (1897) -again, upon part of the ground made available by the earlier demolition of the Convent of St Francis. The Market is a good example of geometric-line central European Modernism, that harmonises diverse materials such as iron, stone and glass.

Church of Sagrado Corazón
Banco Mercantil
City Hall
Market of Esperanza
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