Dinner was booked by Vero at La Huerta del Indiano - a restaurant in an old home of an Indiano, a Spanish who had gone to the Americas and returned home a rich man. It was in a nice stting - in a grand villa with a spacious garden. Great ambience. The food was average. I had a paella mariscos for starters and a duck confit for mains. The duck confit was equally good as the ones I had taken in Paris.
Along the way back to the hotel, came across the Torture Museum - a museum exhibiting various means of torture and executions usually carried out by the Church/Royal authorities against criminals, apostates, spies etc. It was quite interesting to look at some of these instruments and methods of torture employed then. The descriptions accompanying the exhibits gave a good description of some history as well as the techniques used and for whom.
wives made to wear this when husbands go to war
- chastity belt
interrogation chair with spikes on which the accused made to sit on
Santillana del Mar was probably just a little village until the 9th century AD when the remains of the young Juliana of Nicomedia who was executed by the Emperor Diocletian in Asia Minor ( present day Turkey) in the 3rd century was brought here by some monks to this place in the Kingdom of Asturias. A chapel was built here and under the protectionand promotion of the nobilities this flourished into a monastery.
The Romanesque features of this building has been preserved until today. It was originally a Benedictine monastery but in the 11th century was elevated into a Collegiate under the care of a community of canons of St Augustine.
Not knowing that I could have toured the inside of the Collegiate - I had just viewed the building from outside.
the Collegiate sits at the end of the main avenue of the town
horses and cows grazing in the hills behind the Collegiate
Santillana del Mar is a small historic town with a population of about 4000 dating back to the 18th century. An old saying says that Santillana del Mar is the Town With Three Lies - since it is neither a Saint ( Santo), nor flat or a plain (llana) nor is it by the sea (Mar). Its name is derived from Santa Juliana( or Santa Iillana) who remains are kept in the Collegiata, a Romanesque church and former Benedicitine monastery.
The town is easily explored on foot - largely made up of 2 or 3 streets lined by medeival buildings which have now been converted into cafes, bars, ciderias, hotels and museums. This village would be a photographer's delight.
Satre, in his philosophical novel "Le Nausee" described Santillana as the prettiest village in Spain.
above are views of the town taken from the front balcony of our hotel
a huge villa like this with a large garden planted with palm trees
denotes that the ancestors of the owner of this village would have been an Indiano.
An Indiano is a Spanish who have gone on the journeys with Columbus
to explore and discover the New Americas and
come back rich with gold and precious stones.
They would build big villas like this to make them identifiable as an Indiano