It is believed that the origin of Santander took place during the Cantabrian Wars against Rome when Emperor Augustus founded Portus Victoriae luliobrigensium to record his victory over the Cantabrians.
Santander, port before city
Although the information is scarce, it is known that the Romans arrived with galleys at the port located in what is now Santander to conquer it. In an inner estuary of the same port, protected by the hill that we know today as Somorrostro, they built a berth and sheds to build better boats.
5th century - 11th century
The port, witness of great events
For six centuries, the port witnessed the landing of Visigoth missionaries who encouraged the construction of onerarian ships with which to pilgrim to the tomb of San Martin in Tours, the boom of the fishery, but also the plundering of pirates who ravaged and enslaved to the population.
12th century - 13th century
Expansion of maritime trade
Alfonso VIII and his wife Doña Leonor, lovers of the sea and the towns of the Bay of Biscay, protected the Abbey of Sant Emeter by associating it with the port and a town with jurisdiction, under whose protection brotherhoods were formed that expanded the maritime trade.
In 1248 Santander participated, along with other towns of the Cantabrian, in the battle for the conquest of Seville, receiving as a reward a coat of arms containing the images of the Torre del Oro and the Guadalquivir river.
On May 4, 1296, the Cantabrian coastal towns formed the Brotherhood of the towns of the navy of Castile with Vitoria or “Hermandad de las Marismas”, that grouped to Santander, Castro Urdiales, Laredo, Vitoria, Guetaria, San Sebastián, Bermeo and Fuenterrabía . Its objective was to strengthen its commercial position with respect to the competition on the other side of the Bay of Biscay, especially in the wool and flour trade with the towns of Flanders and England.
14th century - 15th century
Glory and decadence
They are built in Santander dockyards where they build the galleys, naos, cocas and aloques that makes the navy of Castilla the most powerful. But the glory did not last long, because the plague ravaged the town leaving its population in half.
On September 20, 1519 sailed from Sanlucar de Barrameda the expedition captained by Fernando de Magallanes with 5 ships and 239 men to complete the first round of the world. On September 6, 1522, 18 men commanded by Juan Sebastian de Elcano, including Juan de Santandres, or Santander, from Cueto, arrived in Sanlúcar de Barrameda aboard the Victoria ship.
1572. Santander, naval base
Santander becomes the main naval base of the armies of Felipe II.
1755. Santander becomes a city
King Fernando VI grants the title of city to the town of Santander.
1767. Opening to trade with America
The port of Santander opens to trade with America.
1785. Santander is modernized
The Consulate of the Sea and Land of Santander was created, the first printing house in the city and the Nautical and Drawing schools were set up.
1893. Tragedy of Machichaco
On November 3, the steamer “Cabo Machichaco” explodes causing the death of 500 people.
Santander, puerto pesquero.
The port of Santander was a place of great fishing activity.
1941. The fire marks the tragedy
A fire takes place that devastates practically all the city
2002. Regatta Cutty Sark
The Cutty Sark Tall Ships Race Regatta, the most important sport and cultural event in the world of training sailing, is held for the first time in Santander.
2005. First Festival of the Sea of Santander
250th anniversary of Santander as a city.
The First Festival of the Sea of Santander is celebrated, with a previous regatta of tall ships between the Torbay, England and Santander ports
2009. Second Festival of the Sea of Santander
The second edition of the Festival del Mar de Santander is celebrated, which makes it the first maritime festival of tall ships in Spain.
Setting the sight on the sea
Santander always has its sights set on the sea, strolling along Paseo Pereda and Reina Victoria, taking a look at the horizon from the top of the Centro Botin, breathing sea breeze that so comforts us.
Even today, we need to remember our past, bring it to our present, recall those ships that sailed our sea and connected us with countries that had barely been heard of.