Santillana del Mar is located in the north of Cantabria about 30 km from Santander. The name of the town is a little deceptive. The small town is not located by the sea, but a few kilometers away from it. But apart from these little shenanigans, Santillana is one of the most beautiful small towns in Cantabria.
The place resembles a living museum. The medieval old town is closed to cars. On foot you walk along cobbled alleys and streets alongside the flower-adorned palaces and churches. Left and right wooden balconies and entrances with the coats of arms of the (former) owners.
The most important sight is located on the northern edge of the old town. The Colegiata de Santa Juliana monastery was founded in the early Middle Ages. The current church dates from the 12th century and is one of the most important Romanesque sacred buildings in Cantabria. The relics of Saint Juliana are kept here. Juliana of Nicomedia died as a Christian martyr in 304. The monastery has a beautiful Romanesque cloister.