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History

 SUANCES FROM PREHISTORY

Its remarkable situation and the estuary, rich in natural resources, made Suances ​​an interesting settlement from the beginning of Prehistory. Human presence is proved in Lower Palaeolithic (Acheulean, 100,000 years ago). An example of this ‘Brujas’ cave, in La Gerra (Suances), preserving modest cave art manifestations, consisting of signs performed by sliding the fingertips on the soft clay of the walls and ceilings of the cave (a technique called Macaroni, also used in neighboring Altamira cave). We can also mention the discovery of a carving flint on Los Locos beach.

Recent excavations have brought to light an interesting site, Hinojedo fort, a human settlement which has become a major source of information about the regional Chalcolithic (4,000 years) and its habitat. We could also highlight the dagger found at Hinojedo, a bronze piece of great beauty dating from the Bronze Age (3,000 years).

The settlement during the Iron Age (2,500-2,000 years) is proved in the Masera Castro between Hinojedo and Cortiguera. On top of it there is a fort where we can observe some defensive terraces. Handmade pottery has been found there, which proves it dates approximately from the Roman times. Would this be the place where the Blendium lived, according to Pliny’s work “Natural History”?

 

ROMAN TIMES

Suances is thought to be the old Roman ‘Portus Blendium’, according to excavations made on the around of the church. Experts say Suances is the end point of the Roman road that linked the plateau with the coast, across Palencia and Besaya river basin (the Bledium’s settlement area) and up to the Cantabrian Sea.

Suances is the port where the Aquitaine troops disembarked to fight in the Cantabrian wars and where the minerals mined from Reocin and Mercadal were shipped from.

According to the archaeological findings, the old port was in an area known as ‘Esquilar’, near the neighborhood of Santiuste.

 

Bajada a la Playa Capilla del Carmen Caretera al Faro Castillo de la Ribera en ruinas
Bajada a la Playa Capilla del Carmen
Salida de misa

 
Caretera al Faro Castillo de la Ribera en ruinas
 
Club Vista Mar. Bajada a pista de baile Colegio San José Edificio Colonias Escolares La Playa
Club Vista Mar
Bajada a pista de baile

 
Colegio San José Edificio Colonias Escolares La Playa

DE LA EDAD MEDIA HASTA NUESTROS DÍAS

In High Middle Ages Suances was part of ‘Marina Valley’, one of the areas belonging to the ‘Merindad of Asturias of Santillana’. The oldest document dates from March 28, 870 and it comes from the Cartulary of Santillana, where a villa called ‘Suancies’ is mentioned.

In the times of great monastic dominion, Suances and its port belonged to the Abbey of Santillana, and there are many documents about fishing activity in the 12th century. The ruins found in Cortiguera date from the 11th century and they are thought to belong to the old church of Santo Domingo de la Barquería (1078). Here a medieval necropolis was found, quite similar to the one in Hinojedo.

In Late Middle Ages, Suances was linked to the powerful De La Vega family, who will come into economic conflict with Santander over the control of the port of Suances. This is the reason why the old tower of ‘San Martin de la Arena’ was built in the port at the beginning of the 15th century.

In the 16th century the port of Suances would have great commercial trading and it would reach its peak in the 17th and 18th centuries.

In mid 19th century bathing became quite popular. This made our beaches the most important touristic attraction in the village. Tourists came and many chalets and villas were built at that time.

In the second half of the 20th century Suances became one of the most important holiday destinations in the North of Spain.

 

La Ribera. El Muelle Las Barcas y el Castillo Panorámica Panorámica
La Ribera
El Muelle

 
Las Barcas y el Castillo Panorámica Panorámica
Panorámica Panorámica Playa de Los Locos Ruinas del Castillo de la Ribera</td>
Panorámica Panorámica Playa de Los Locos Ruinas del
Castillo de la Ribera

THE TOWER OF ‘SAN MARTÍN DE LA ARENA’

In 1403 the powerful De La Vega Family established in San Martin de la Arena river mouth because the realized it was perfect for the expansion of their domain because it was the natural communication between the plain and the coast. De La Vega family came into economic conflict with Santander over the control of the port of Suances. So, the old tower of ‘San Martin de la Arena’ was built.

Leonor de la Vega’s husband, Diego Hurtado de Mendoza, Admiral of Castilla, obtained some land from the Abbey of Santillana del Mar in order to build up a settlement and a defensive tower, in exchange for a parish in San Cristobal’s church in Ongayo and some lands in Hinojedo.

The tower of ‘San Martin de la Arena’ would later be a witness to many violent raids by pirates and corsairs who used to visit our coasts. But it was finally destroyed.