Los Llaos

Los Llaos, 6, San Vicente de la Barquera, 39547, Spain
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More about San Vicente de la Barquera


Area behind the church showing city wallsArea behind the church showing city walls

Back view of the Church of our Lady of Los AngelesBack view of the Church of our Lady of Los Angeles

San Vincente de la Barquera - Ria à marée basse.San Vincente de la Barquera - Ria à marée basse.

Me and AndreyMe and Andrey

Travel Tips for San Vicente de la Barquera

Jewels of Cantabria - San Vicente de la Barquera

by nomad7890

"The ria gives the town its unique environment"

San Vicente de la Barquera is a typical and picturesque Cantabrian sea community with many interesting places to visit. From the Castle, to the beach, to walking along the ria, to the harbor, it offers something for everyone. Given its location and bus facilities it is an excellent place to establish a base for day trips to other nearby locations in Cantabria (see Off the Beaten Path tips).

This is also a place where I noticed many families with children walking around with strollers and enjoying the views. The town is very small and easy to navigate on foot - actually a car is more of a liability as parking is limited and traffic into town can be very busy at certain times of the day, particularly early evening.

"Contrasts of sea and mountain"

The region of Cantabria is in what is considered "green Spain". Other than the "main sights" it offers many areas to hike, one of them shown here behind the church of Our Lady of Los Angeles. When you get into the woods, you could wonder if you're in Ireland - the greens are incredible and the weather is at times wet and rainy, but the hills let you know you're in the north of Spain.

"Santuario de la Virgen de la Barquera"

The beautiful sanctuary of the Virgen de la Barquera sits past the Puente de la Barquera bridge on the way to the "Rompeolas" (wave breaker) down the Paseo de la Barquera. It is a beautiful structure that blends into the countryside. If you look inside, you will see a ship hanging from the entrance of the church - this is very proper of the sanctuary in this town devoted to sailing out to sea.

Jesus Cancio wrote the poem "Bronces de mi Costa" - the first part shown below:

La Virgen de la Barquera
tiene un barquito velero,
un bergantin de juguete
de los bazares del cielo,
y dicen que a medianoche,
cuando el pueblo esta durmiendo,
la Virgen de la Barquera
manda bajar a un lucero
y se va con el al mar
en busca de rumbos nuevos
sin andanades de espuma
ni bocanadas de viento.

... ok, being raised by the ocean I'm in tears just about now. In English it goes somewhat as follows, although abbreviated as part of the impact is lost in translation:

The Virgen de la Barquera
has a little sail boat
a little toy boat with oars
from the heaven's bazaars
they say that at night
when the town is sleeping
the Virgen de la Barquera
sends for a star to descend
and goes with it to sea
in search of new routes
without sea foams or currents
or wind gusts in its path.


by AsturArcadia

Comparing 'then' and 'now' using photos taken a century or more ago can be intriguing. In the case of San Vicente de la Barquera, most of my 'recent' photos (transparencies) date from the late 1980s - in other words, they are now over 20 years old. Since then the appearance of the 'Villa Marinera' has been transformed radically and shockingly by the construction of vast new housing estates. We lived there through the first phases of this expansion, and it was not a pleasant sight to see meadows, orchards and old farm buildings disappear under the caterpillar tracks of the marauding JCBs. Indeed, at times it was traumatic. For the original landscape can never be restored. A second phase of expansion got under way around the turn of the millennium. All to cater for the crowds that descend on this little town and fishing port for a few brief weeks in late July and early August, whose daily date is with the beach, and who moan their heads off should the weather turn inclement. I have not the slightest sympathy with them. Nor do any of those in SVB who do not depend on them one way or another for a living.

But the destruction of the old town started earlier - in the 1960s - when the first blocks of flats were built, and structures then existing were mercilessly razed to the ground. San Vicente was less fortunate than neighbouring Comillas or Llanes in this respect, where the old quarters have, miraculously, survived reasonably intact, albeit surrounded by architectural jungles.


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