C A N T A B R I A   U N I V E R S I T Y
The Collegiate
The Baroque in Santillana
The Urbanism
Town Map
The Baroque in Santillana.  
    Convent of Regina Coeli Dominican   The conventual character of Santillana consolidated in the 17th century with the settlement of the Dominicans there. In 1592 they had already attempted to establish themselves in the Las Arenas Palace, but the opposition of the collegiate church canons forced them to settle outside the urban centre, under the protection of the Duke of Infantado. This is how they came to build in 1628 the Convent of Regina Coeli, which was occupied since the 19th century by the Clarist nuns, and is at present the Diocesan Museum. It pertains to the first Baroque architectural style, characterized by classicist sobriety mainly observed outside the building. The cloister is the best in the region of those pertaining to the Baroque period and is artistically the most significant element in the convent. Around it are arranged the different attached buildings, at present being the rooms of the museum, where one can see from medieval and modern carvings on polychromic wood, to works donated by American and Philipines Indianos (rich former colonials). In the so called Sala Negra (Black Room), there is a wonderful metal work collection from different areas of Cantabria. The museum has also an outstanding collection of ancient book prints and the Diocesan Archives.

Moreover, in the second half of the 17th century, the Baroque convent of the Dominicans of San Ildefonso was built, surrounded by high walls. However, at that time, Santillana was already undergoing an economic and cultural decline from which it emerged at the end of the 17th century thanks to the capital coming from America. From that moment, numerous casonas were built, which gave Santillana the look of a Baroque village, all of which have the features of palaces and casonas montañesas. In general, the sobriety of the classicist models, the ostentatious Baroque coats of arms rich in lambrequins and feathers, prevail on the outside of the casonas. The portico, the porch, the balcony and the solana appear in many of these coats of arms. From this period also are the Houses of Villa and of Bustamante, both of them with balconies in pulpit, as well as the Houses of Cosío and Quevedo, with magnificent coats of arms. But definitely, it is the Casona of Los Hombrones that presents the most monumental Baroque coat of arms guarded by two colossal warriors. Some casonas were built on new land, such as the House of Tagle located in the Revolgo Field. Others are outstanding both for their architectural value and for the pieces they keep inside, such as the Benimeji Marquis's House-palace, which has a library with incunabula manuscripts, genealogical collections and neo-classical paintings.

Cloister of the Convent of Regina Coeli
Dominican Convent of San Ildefonso
Casona of Los hombrones or Villa
House of Bustamante
House of Sánchez Tágle
Benimejí Casona-Palace or Palace of Peredo-Barreda
  T O W N S   A N D   C I T I E S