Category History

Dublin Footballer Manager Don Patricio

Patrick O’Connell – The football manager from Ireland at Racing Santander…

Inspiration for my blogposts often comes from family and friends who comment or ask a question about a place in Santander and this one is no different. If you know me personally you know my knowledge of the city’s football team, Racing Santander (pronounced Ra-thing San-tan-der) is pretty basic. It’s taken me 24 years to attend a match […]

Gaudi Villa Quijano Cantabria Spain Caprice

A Trip to Gaudi’s Capricho in Comillas

Gaudi is a name we associate with Catalonia but I’m still here in Cantabria – just under 50km from Santander to visit El Capricho de Gaudi in Comillas. This privately-held former holiday home designed by Gaudi is open to the public and welcomes 100,000 visitors every year. It celebrated its 130th anniversary in 2015 and […]

Cantabria civic centre high-rise tobacco building

High Hopes for Santander’s Tabacalera

It’s been years since I smoked a Fortuna but the old Tabacalera building in Santander does hold a special place in my heart. It’s been one of my favourites since I first caught a glimpse of it rowing on the bay. When I realised it was designed by the same architect who did the petrol station (now a café) beside […]

Machichaco tragedy disaster Santander ship 1893

Remembering the Machichaco Tragedy of 1893

Some words in Santander carry a burden of sadness about them and one of the saddest must be the word Machichaco. 600 people died and 2,000 were injured in Santander’s port in 1893 as a result of two explosions that went off on board a ship named ‘Cabo Machichaco’. Last Saturday, a number of associations including my rowing club, […]

Limerick Literary Festival Kate O'Brien writer Ireland Spain Santander Farewell

Talking about Talking about Kate O’Brien

I’m back in Santander just over two weeks now. I was in Ireland presenting a paper at the Limerick Literary Festival in honour of Kate O’Brien. Over in Limerick My session was about the book ‘Farewell Spain’ written by the Limerick writer in 1937 and I focused much of my talk on her time in Santander which […]

New lonja fish wholesale pescado market Santander Cantabria Spain

The Fish Market of all Fish Markets – Santander’s Lonja in Northern Spain

This is my fifth Christmas in a row in Santander. As you’d expect, ‘Navidad’ is very different here in Spain and nowhere is that more evident than at the dinner table. Fish and fishing are an important part of Cantabrian life and for the next two weeks (Christmas lasts right up until January 6 when the Kings […]

Bilbao market mercado Pais Vasco Spain

Visiting Ribera Foodmarket in Bilbao

Sometimes you only appreciate what you’ve got when you change your surroundings. A few weeks* ago, I went to Bilbao (just one hour away – no need to change time zones) and it was there I realised I should be careful what I wish for. It was a follow-on trip from my Foodies Tour of Santander when a group of […]

pereda gardens Santander Botin Centre Spain cafe

Pereda Gardens Park by the Botin Centre

There’s something special about great city parks in the Summer and this year I’ve been more than happy to explore the newly re-opened Pereda Gardens in Santander beside the Botin Centre. The space has been THE topic of discussion with everybody in the city and the subject of much commentary on social media locally. One month […]

Boat Santander Cantabria Spain

Rowing Traineras in Santander Bay

If we’ve met in person over the past few months, I’ve probably told you about my trips out on the bay. And I’ve probably said that I’ve seen more of Santander in the past year than I have in the past two decades. Writing about the city is one of the reasons and rowing an […]

Pamela Cahill Magdalena Palace Palacio Santander Spain Sculptures

A Palace Revisited

There are many reasons why I write about places in Santander. Sometimes it’s to find out a little more about a building that isn’t well known. Or to get a few paragraphs out there about a location or an architect that isn’t documented in English. This time it’s a bit different. I’m writing about the Magdalena Palace to develop a […]

Pamela Cahill Kate O'Brien Santander 1930s Calvo Sotelo

1930s Santander Through Irish Eyes

I get my fair share of visits from friends and family – and really enjoy seeing the city of Santander through their eyes. In fact, most of these blogposts are inspired by questions or observations from my out-of-towners. When one such visitor told me that I’d missed a great Kate O’Brien (1897-1974) Literary Weekend last […]

santander llamas park parque bird

Llamas Park

Parks are complex elements of any city. Not only do they provide recreational space, they also define the shape and feel of a city and its neighbourhoods. The most famous park in Santander, Magdalena Park, was a royal residence one hundred years ago. There’s no denying that the royal connection gives it caché and the […]

Faro Cueto walk Panteon del Ingles Jose Jackson Veyan

The Cliffside Pantheon

It’s been a while since I brought you on a walk around Santander. When I heard about a memorial to an English man who had died by the cliffside near the lighthouse I grabbed my camera and went in search of it. The walk is wild and rough and beautiful. And the story is one […]

Mercado de Esperanza Santander Market Fish Food

The Market of Hope since 1904

One of my favourite places to spend some time and cash in Santander is the city’s main food market. For me, it’s a perfect blend of architecture, history, food & drink all rolled into one. It’s called Mercado de la Esperanza  – meaning Market of Hope – and is located immediately behind the town hall in […]

1941 Santander fire city reconstruction llamas incendio

The 1941 fire and its aftermath

I love the beaches, the art-deco buildings and the whole of Puertochico in Santander but until recently I’ve struggled to understand the city centre. Most of the mediaeval city was burned in the fire of 1941 and I never really liked what was put in its place and tended to avoid the area. This has […]

Isla de la Torre Magdalena Escuela de Vela 1930 Santander

Isla de la Torre – Tower Island

I’ve always been drawn to this building and this island. I was on the beach the other day combining the dangerous task of having a coffee and testing my shiny new camera (it’s a LUMIX GX1 for those of you that might be interested) when I set my sights on the island and was trigger […]

Los raqueros Santander Jose Cobo Paseo Maritimo

Los Raqueros Bay Sculptures

I’ve walked past these sculptures quite a bit recently – and the more I see them – the more I like them. They are ‘Los Raqueros’ – and the sculptures pay their respects to the city’s children that worked for a living. In Santander, the raqueros were children who scraped a living from the docks […]

Santander Paseo de Pereda doors

37 Doors

Almost every post to date has involved me walking down ‘Paseo de Pereda’ in Santander. It’s the best-known street of the city with spectacular views of the bay. Whilst the buildings themselves are impressive and interesting, I was even more struck by the doors and thought I’d bring them to you here. Numbers 1 – […]

Ice-cream Monerris Santander

My favourite scoop and a few more besides…

I’m not a particularly sweet-toothed person. Myself and my oven do become acquainted when I feel the need to make a dessert or cake I grew up with but cannot find in Northern Spain. But as the weather gets warmer – I feel less like baking and more like eating ICE-CREAM. I didn’t realise how […]

Villa Luisa Santander

Deserted Villa Catches My Eye

Yesterday, I walked past an old house – of which there are very few – in my neighbourhood. It’s called Villa Luisa and it’s boarded up. How is it possible, I thought – that nobody cares about it? I came home and googled. It’s a sad story. I found out it was built in 1917 […]

Ricardo Lorenzo Avenida Castros Santander 1972

Making curvy cool with the humble brick

I’ve started looking around Santander with new eyes recently. In a previous post, I described the ferry building in Santander as seductive. And I spoke about living in a 1960s block and loving it.  I didn’t explain why I liked these buildings. The simple answer is good architecture. And my new hero is Ricardo Lorenzo. […]

cranes working on Centro Botin Santander

The new Botin Centre in Santander – what’s it all about?

I’ve been banging on about the new building going up in Santander to friends and family and thought I’d write about it here. I’ve two reasons – one is that the building is a little gem – on the plans at least – and secondly – there isn’t much published in English – so I […]