Thursday, December 12, 2013

Cantabria: The water route

Cantabria conserves a number of maritime buildings such as lighthouses, mills, foundries and fulling mills, which can provide a fantastic base to explore the relationship between man and water.

El Caballo lighthouse
Lighthouses. A visit to a lighthouse represents an encounter with an spectacular marine location. There are nine in Cantabria, which are from east to west those of Castro Urdiales, Santoña (the lighhthouses of El Caballo and El Pescador), Ajo, Santander (the lighthouses of Mouro, La Cerda and Cabo Mayor), Suances and Sant Vicente de la Barquera.

Tide mills. Taking advantage of the force of the tides to move mills has been documented in Cantabria since 1047. There were mills of this kind on almost all estuaries and marshes, some of which have been restored and can now be visited. For example, you can visit (book in advance) Santa Olaja Mill (located in Amuero) or Mareas de Ancillo Mill (located in Argoños).

Molino de Ancillo
Mareas de Ancillo Mill
Seamen and fishermen. The Cantabria Maritime Museum offers a complete panoramic vision of this untamed sea. Its discourse illustrates the relationship that men have had with it through the ages.

Foundries. Cantabria has a deep-rooted tradition of the obtaining of iron; foundries abound in the proximity of river beds. The most important is that located in the town of Cades, where visitors can get to know the process of the moving of iron and its working by means of forging or casting.

Fulling mills. Fulling mills are appliances that take advantge of hydraulic energy, mainly for textile work. Two examples have been preserved, both in the Liébana area, in the towns of Ledantes and Aniezo.

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