Visiting Santillana del Mar is a must if you are traveling in Cantabria. And within this wonderful medieval town where its streets seem to take you to another era is the Collegiate Church of Santa Juliana, the most representative monument of Santillana del Mar.
It is undoubtedly its great jewel and one of the best Romanesque monuments in Cantabria. It is dedicated to Juliana of Nicomedia, a 4th-century martyr whose remains were brought to the Kingdom of Asturias in the 9th century by some pilgrim monks, building a hermitage.
It was in the 12th century when the hermitage that housed the remains of the saint, and which had grown until it became a monastery, was converted into a spectacular collegiate church that we can admire today.
What to see in the Collegiate Church of Santa Juliana in Santillana del Mar
The exterior of the Collegiate Church of Santa Juliana
On your visit to Santillana del Mar you will arrive at the impressive Collegiate Church of Santa Juliana after going through the beautiful Calle del Río, with its cobblestones and its buildings with the typical architecture of Santillana.
At the end of the street you will find the facade of the collegiate church in which we must highlight its cover presided over by an image of Santa Juliana. In the upper part of the portal there is a gallery made up of 15 arches, which is one of the characteristic elements of the collegiate church.
To the left of the portal is the Casa del Abad. Once we have admired the exterior of the Collegiate Church of Santa Juliana, we can now access its interior and enjoy its charms.
The interior of the Collegiate
To get to the church of the Collegiate Church of Santa Juliana we must cross another of the great jewels that this monument hides, its Cloister.
The cloister was built between the 12th and 16th centuries, so we can see various styles in it. It is obligatory to go around the entire perimeter of the cloister admiring its columns and historiated capitals, which are the most spectacular of the same. We can also see several tombs in a Gothic chapel in a corner.
After visiting the cloister we can access the church, made up of three naves separated by spectacular columns that you should admire.
Of the church we must also highlight the choir and its Baroque organ, the Romanesque baptismal chapel, the main altarpiece from the 16th century and numerous Romanesque sculptures distributed throughout its interior. Next to the main altar we find the relics of Santa Juliana.