“Le plus joli village d’Espagne” – Jean Paul Sartre
In my last post as I left Trujillo in Extremadura I made reference to my favourite places in Spain so I thought I might take some time to share these with you. I begin with Santillana del Mar in Cantabria, almost four hundred miles north of Trujillo and in a very different part of Spain.
Santillana del Mar is a most picturesque town and often appears in any top ten of best villages in Spain. This may of course have something to do with the fact that the French writer, philosopher and all-round clever dick, Jean Paul Sartre declared it to be the prettiest village in Spain, although I am not absolutely sure just how much of Spain he visited and just what he was comparing it with or how he came to this rather sweeping judgment. Perhaps it was just a lucky guess!
Click on an image to scroll through the gallery…
There is apparently an old saying that Santillana del Mar is The Town of Three Lies, since it is neither a Saint (Santo), nor flat (llana) and has no sea (Mar) as implied by the town’s name. However, the name actually derives from Santa Juliana (or Santa Illana) whose remains are in the kept in the Colegiata, a Romanesque church and former Benedictine monastery.