Bárcena Mayor and its rural architecture

Bárcena Mayor is a town in the municipality of Los Tojos (Cantabria, Spain). It is located at an altitude of 495 meters in the valley of the Argoza River.

Since 2015 the city has been a part of the network The most beautiful towns in Spain.

It is now one of the most visited towns in the Cantabrian interior.

According to the Cantabrian tourist bureaus it is the oldest town in Cantabria.

Tourism and main attractions

The town is a homogeneous and well-preserved complex of mountain architecture, declared a Historic-Artistic complex in 1979.

In the 1990s, the town was adapted for tourism, with which it lost part of its personality. At that time, the regional road that reaches the town was repaired, a car parking was built outside and the town center was converted into a pedestrian area.

In the town, one can find an ancient Roman Road that has been in continual use for almost two millennia. The houses and buildings are examples of the rural medieval stone mountain construction with wooden balconies and windows.

To maximize the heating effect of the sun, most of the buildings face the south. The village contains historic laundries in the public square, bakeries, barns, stables, carpentry shops, gift shops, and restaurants.

The nearby natural environment is of great interest, being able to find huge oak and beech forests. The town is located inside the Saja National Hunting Reserve and is the only inhabited nucleus that is within the limits of the Saja-Besaya natural park.

Bárcena Mayor is one of the towns from which you can climb to Alto Abedules, a mountain of 1,410 meters above sea level, near the Fuentes River and the Queiendo River.

How to get to?

Nearest airport is in Santander.

From Santander 1 hr 8 min (70.6 km) via A-67

From Madrid 4 hr 41 min (432 km) via A-67

Main information

Area: 1 km²

Coordinates: 43°08′40″N 4°11′34″W

Population: 84

Languages: Spanish

Currency: Euro

Visa: Schengen

Time: Central European UTC +1

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