Santander is an ancient city.  It was an important part of the Roman Empire until the Roman Empire lost its power.  Later, it was an important port for Spain and a center of world trade during the time when Spain virtually ruled the world.  In the twelfth century, it became a vacation area for King Alfonso VIII, initiating an ongoing link between the area and its Spanish leadership.   It became an official city in the middle of the eighteenth century.  At the end of the nineteenth century, it made the international news when a large ship randomly exploded in the harbor there.  

In the beginning of the twentieth century, Santander briefly became home to royalty.  It was in 1913 that King Alfonso XIII and Queen Victoria Eugene moved to the area, living in Magdalena Palace which can be explored by tourists in the area today.

In 1941, there was a large fire which destroyed most of the city.  Inhabitants of the city, along with city officials, rallied together to rebuild the city, and it was rebuilt almost exactly the way it had been before the fire.

A complete, albeit briefly explained, history of Santander can be explored online at http://uk.holidaysguide.yahoo.com/p-t... .