C A N T A B R I A   U N I V E R S I T Y
  CASONAS AND PALACES   Casonas and Palaces
Middle Ages
Contemporary Palaces
The Middle Ages.  
    Quijas┤s tower   The casona monta˝esa originated inthe late Middle Ages with the construction of towers, typical of medieval art and Architecture in Cantabria and symbolising noble power. Among the total fifty houses spread throughout Cantabria, there are different types; some of defensive character (thick walls, scarcity of bay windows...) such as Quijas Tower, and others of the house-tower type, more open to the outside and tending to the horizontal. Examples of the latter are the Merino and Don Borja towers in Santillana del Mar.

Late in the 15th century, the noble towers had to be changed, by a royal decision, into houses with no military function, i.e. into palaces. This is when the house-palace appears, arranged on a rectangular plan with a two or three-floor elevation and gabled roof, using dressed stone on the main fašade and coats of arms. An excellent example of this is the house of Leonor de la Vega in Santillana. However, this change is slow, as there were still many buildings with a tower-like style and with military features.

Merino┤s tower (Santillana del Mar)
Don Borja┤s tower (Santillana del Mar)
House of Leonor de la Vega (Santillana del Mar)
A R T I S T I C   H E R I T A G E