If you like architectural treasures, you will enjoy Liérganes. And if you enjoy legends, you will like it even more, because this town keeps one of the good ones.
But let's start with what's obvious: a splendid collection of Baroque and classicist buildings, Indian mansions and interesting examples of religious architecture. And where does all this come from?
From the rich history of Liérganes, of course. Concretely, it starts with certain characters who reached political importance and commissioned, back in the sixteenth century, stately homes. You know how vain these noblemen were.
The palaces later became more austere, following the fashion the Cantabria man Juan de Herrera imposed with El Escorial. But it didn't take long for the Baroque to turn things around with its tendency towards the sumptuous. This changes fit well in a village where, from the beginning of the seventeenth century, they manufactured cannons and ammunition for the Spanish imperial fleet. It also fit with the taste of the first Indianos, who in the following century were mad into building houses to impress their countrymen.
All these changes left their mark in Liérganes. And the history of the town would still have a few more twists. In the middle of the nineteenth century with the cessation of artillery production and the opening of the spa, the place became the destination of the most distinguished bourgeoisie, and hotels, theatres and summer houses flourished.
But as we were saying at the beginning, there is a legend in this village, we can't wait to tell you. The story about the man-fish begins one day in 1674 when the young Francisco de la Vega goes swimming in the River Miera with some friends. And as he was giving strokes downstream, he disappeared from the sight of his companions. After hours without hearing from him, they think he has drowned.
Five years later, some fishermen from the Bay of Cádiz see a strange aquatic being from their boats. After several days, they manage to catch it in a net, and when they get it on board, they find he is a young and strong man, although, he has scales instead of skin in some parts of his body. They take him to land, and the man-fish remains days in silence until, at last, utters a word: Liérganes.
A friar takes him to the Cantabrian village where Francis is recognised by his astonished family. He stays there for a few years, silent and taciturn, until one day he returns to the sea to disappear and never to return. Today, a sculpture in the bank of the river reminds us of this episode.
With a legend like this and five hundred years of architecture … What else do you want to come to see this village and its tits? That is, the Busampiro Peaks, named so for its feminine shapes. Two small mountains from which you can enjoy the beautiful views that cover the entire region of Liérganes, as far as the bay of Santander.