Santander, Province Of
SANTANDER, PROVINCE OF. A maritime province of northern Spain, bounded N. by the Bay of Biscay, E. by the province of Biscay, S. by Burgos and Palencia, and W. by Leon and Oviedo. Pop. (1900) 276,003; area 2108 sq. m. The province is traversed from east to west by the Cantabrian Mountains (q.v.), which in the Penas de Europa reach a height of over 8600 ft., and send off numerous branches to the sea. On the north side of the range the streams are all short, the principal being the Ason, the Miera, the Pas, the Besaya, the Saja and the Nansa, which flow into the Bay of Biscay; part of the province lies south of the watershed, and is drained by the upper Ebro (q.v.). The province is- traversed from north to south by the railway and high road from Santander by Palencia to Madrid ; the highest point on the railway (Venta de Pazozal) is 3229 ft. above the sea. Other railways connect Santander with Bilbao on the east and with Cabezona de la Sal on the west; there are also many good state, provincial and municipal roads, besides several narrow-gauge mining railways.
Santander was part of the Roman province of Cantabria, which, after passing under the empire of the Goths, became the principality of Asturias (q.v.). The portion called Asturia de Santa Juliana, or Santillana, was included in the kingdom of Old Castile, and, on the subdivision of the old provinces of Spain in 1833, became the province of Santander.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)