In the southern area of ​​Cantabria, on a hill that watches over the Saja Valley from above, stands the Castle of San Vicente de Argüeso, a little-known fortress that hides a long and interesting history. To begin with, it is about oldest castle in Cantabriadeclared an Asset of Cultural Interest in 1983 for its immense value.

The defensive fortification is open to visits and promises a trip to the past to anyone who enters its stone walls. Specifically, we find it in the municipal area of ​​the Brotherhood of Campoo de Suso, just 1 hour from the city of Santander. It is also worth noting that it is part of the Spanish Castles and Palaces Club, made up of the 80 best castles in the country.

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The Castle of San Vicente de Argüeso

On the hill where the Castle of San Vicente de Argüeso stands imposingly today a hermitage was originally built under the invocation of Saint Vincent Martyr. The later fortress, which began to be built between the 13th and 14th centuries, would take its name from this small religious temple from the 9th century. Besides, the tower of tribute It preserves at its base remains of that primitive hermitage, as well as the old early medieval necropolis that is located in the castle’s parade ground.

Castle of San Vicente de Argüeso.
Castle of San Vicente de Argüeso.

Until the 19th century, the defensive building was part of the Casa de la Vega-Mendoza. Important royal figures lived here, such as Doña Leonor de la Vega, nicknamed ‘the lioness of Castile’. “After the granting of the title by the Catholic Monarchs in 1475, the castle became the headquarters of the Marquisate of Argüeso, the jurisdictional and administrative center of the area,” they point out from the castle’s official website.

In 1869, the XV Marquis of Argüeso sold the fortress to individuals and it began a process of deterioration which left it in a dilapidated state. Finally, its last owner donated it in 1962 to the Campoo de Suso Brotherhood City Council.

Castle of San Vicente de Argüeso.
Castle of San Vicente de Argüeso.

From defensive fortress to cultural center

In 1988 the restoration work by the Government of Cantabria and the town council. The result highlights “the great craftsmanship carried out on noble wood“, they explain.

Since 1999, the fortress was opened to the public for visits, becoming an authentic Cultural center which also hosts events of all kinds, from exhibitions to historical reenactment days, concerts, courses, medieval workshops, medieval artisan markets…

Castle of San Vicente de Argüeso.
Castle of San Vicente de Argüeso.

As for the scheduleFrom November 1 to March 31, the castle is open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. From July 16 to August 31 it opens from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The rest of the months open from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. He price It is €3 per person, free for children under 3 years old and residents of the municipality.

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How to get to the Castle of San Vicente de Argüeso

He car ride from the city of Santander and the Castillo de San Vicente de Argüeso is approximately an hour away on the A-67.

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