Las Llamas Park, situated next to el Sardinero, provides travellers with a good place to get their strengths back while enjoying an environment in which design, functionality and respect for the environment blend in. Recreational areas, green zones and walkways surround a central area where we can see a wide variety of waterfowl that chose this area as a wetland to nest or to make a rest stop on their long migratory journeys. Open spaces are ideal for a relaxed walk but also for the practice of sports activities. An example of sustainability marked by architectural elements in which modernity plays a decisive role.
The itinerary proposed below starts at the Exhibition Centre, next to the stadium where the Real Racing Club of Santander plays, and it covers the area known as Las Llamas, a place once marshy which was used for farming for a period of time. Until the beginning of the 20th century the valley was taken up by one of the two main rias of Santander, it had a group of coastal sand dunes and its northern slope was used to cultivate vineyards. Today it hosts one of the green lungs of the city, the Atlantic Park of Las Llamas and Escenario Santander.
Avenida del Racing, s/n
☎ Telephone 942 290 040
This 6,400-square-metre site was designed in 2002 with the aim of providing the city with a space perfectly equipped to host conventions, exhibitions and all kind of fairs. The building is made of face brick and cooper sheet. Inside it houses an auditorium with a capacity of 275 people and two large exhibition halls totalling more than 5,000 square metres. It also has a cafeteria and a landscaped English courtyard.
Santander Sports Centre
C/ Alcalde Vega Lamera, s/n
This avant-garde building, work of architects Julián Franco and José Manuel Palao in 2003, is better known as ‘the whale’, as Cantabrian people mockingly call it. It is located in front of the stadium where the local football team, Real Racing Club of Santander, plays. This centre comprises a concrete structure and a roof made of 400 stainless steel sheets of different sizes. In addition to sporting competitions, it hosts concerts and other events, with a capacity of 6,000 people.
Atlantic Park of Las Llamas
Right after the Sports Centre we find the Atlantic Park of Las Llamas, a space whose creation has led to the total regeneration of a marshland. Fruit of a great project that will affect the whole valley, this park currently open to the public extends from the Sports Centre to the Arenas Bridge, at the foot of the campus of the University of Cantabria, which is widely improved thanks to the facilities of the park. This 11-hectare park has a central area with a shallow water sheet and a reedbed crossed by several footbridges. Every footbridge has the name of an ocean liner, including the one that does not reach the other side, called ‘Titanic’. Moreover, this park boasts an amphitheatre and some of the remains of the 19th-century ancient piers, discovered during the remodelling works of the car park at Alfonso XIII Square and moved here afterwards. But what certainly characterizes this park, whose silhouette seen from the air represents the countries surrounding the Atlantic Ocean, is the large number of tree species from Cantabria and from both sides of the ‘Pond’. The Atlantic Park of Las Llamas also comprises three car parks, a café-restaurant and a 2.5 km cycle lane, apart from the building of Escenario Santander, which hosts concerts and rehearsal rooms for local bands.
Campus of the University of Cantabria
The University of Cantabria is regarded as one of the ten best Spanish universities for its teaching quality and its scientific productivity. From Las
Llamas Park we can see some of its faculties and buildings devoted to other services, such as the Higher Technical Schools of Civil Engineering,
Industrial Engineering and Telecommunications, the Faculty of Sciences, the Interfaculty Building and the Faculty of Law and Business Studies.
This bridge connects the S-20 dual carriageway to Los Castros Avenue, which extends parallel to Las Llamas Park. It was opened to traffic in 2011 and it has a length of 102 metres and a width of 24, with pavements on both sides and a cycle lane which is linked to the one running through El Sardinero, Las Llamas and Los Castros. It is the work of engineer Juan José Arenas.