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POTES

 

HILL-WALKING FROM POTES

CULTURAL AND ARTISTIC VISIT

To enjoy history, artistic monuments, manor ancient houses, towers and, villages, still preserving the traditional quaintness; we are going to place ourselves in the village of Potes centre, starting the visit at the Tower "La Torre del El Infantado, built in medieval times, and symbol of the fights for power between nobiliary families and unassailable remain of war times. At present it is the headquarters of the town council.

From the Tower, we continue down the street called Independencia, where we can contemplate several large manor houses and arrive to the park called Jesus del Monasterio. In this park is the statue, from 1906, of the famous violinist born in from the town of Potes, Jesus del Monasterio, who showed his musical talent in the best Spanish and foreign stages, leaving as a valuable legacy some important musical compositions.

Next to the park is the current parochial church under the name of San Vicente, which doesn't have an outstanding architectural merit and was started to be built in 1804, with a contribution of D. José Vicente de Lamadrid, "son" of the village and bishop of Málaga. Due to the lack of funds to conclude the works and because of the Independence War, it was inaugurated on September the 27th of 1894. It has a central nave and several lateral chapels, conserving some altarpieces from the XVIII century. At the foot, it has a portico and on both sides two prismatic towers. The main altar comes from the old convent of the Dominican monks of San Raimundo, in the village of Potes. In the central vaulted niche of the main altar a carving of San Vicente, patron of the village, stands out. In the left nave there´s a polychrome image of La Dolorosa inside a Baroque altar-piece, which it must be highlighted because of its realism.

Near the current church is the old church of San Vicente, Gothic church from the XV century, quoted in 952 in the "Cartulario" at Santo Toribio´s monastery. One of the chapels, that of San Felipe Neri, has been restored by the Association of the Jubilee Year in Liébana and is a place for Beatos´ expositions, concerts and conferences, as well as being one of its rooms the municipal tourist information office in Potes.

From this old church we then pass next to the buildings of the Red Cross and Health Centre, where a modern bridge over the river Deva communicates with the village educational centres: School, secondary school, student residence, and the sports hall and municipal pools. From here a road drives us up to the village of Rases.

We return back to the bridge and approach the fair area of La Serna, place where important cattle fairs take place, which were already mentioned in 1379, when the king Juan I from Castilla granted two fairs to the village; one, from the first to the fifteen of August, and the second, eight days before the fair of Los Santos, up to eight days later from this date. Actually, six annual fairs take place, each of them lof a single day.

If we cross the main road we will get to a park where, in the middle, there´s a Monument to the Rural Doctor, made by the sculptor Ruiz Lloreda, reflecting how hard this profession was, when it was necessary to travel around the villages on horseback, facing all sorts of weather difficulties. In the same park there´s a bust in memory of the doctor Eleuterio Relea, who exercised his profession in the valley of Liébana.

We then cross a porthole and the park of the primary school, La Serna, to come close to the hermitage Virgen del Camino, at the beginning of the path going to the cemetery. The hermitage conserves an altarpiece from the XVIII century. At this point we begin walking among the alleys of one of the most typical village districts: El Sol, in the old part of the town, where some buildings of singular interest are conserved, as well as the coats of arms in many of their facades. We go under several arches which were part of burnt constructions during the civil war and can see now the facade of the Casona de la Canal, nowadays dedicated as the town´s Cultural Hall. It is a large rebuilt house by the Mexican patron, Aryan Fredo de la Canal, original from Liébana. Here, one can contemplate all sorts of exhibitions, go to conferences or visit the permanent cartographic exhibition dedicated the Cantabrian sailor Juan de la Cosa. Very near this place we can also see the Tower of Orejón de la Lama, where they also offer some exhibitions.

We can then cross through the medieval bridge of San Cayetano, over the river Quiviesa and arrive at the hermitage of San Cayetano, with altarpieces and images from the XVIII century reaching later, the Plazuela del Llano square, with the Calseco Tower, from the XVIII century and the spring of La Riega. We now continue from here, along a typical alley from Fuente La Riega up to the street of Cimavilla; or on the other hand, return along San Cayetano and walk in La Cántabra street, night pub-crawling place and also where one can watch or buy typical products from the area. From this street and along Cimavilla, we reach the district La Solana, one of the eldest and most typical in town, with houses and their corridors and a square, with a typical spring. From La Solana, we arrive to the street of San Pedro, where some ancient houses and shields are still preserved and where there´s an old cypress pointing out the place where the church of San Pedro was built. We can then go up a steep road to the main road, going towards Vega de Liébana and ending at the mountain pass of San Glorio. From this point and after crossing the road a path goes up to the hermitage of Valmayor, documented in 990.

Returning to the street of San Pedro we pass next to the headquarters of the civil police, magnificent building presenting a coat of arms from Otero and Lamadrid. Then we walk down the street Obispo and El Canton and have a look at the old manor houses with their coats of arms in the street of San Marcial, arriving at the street Jesús del Monasterio, where a plate on the building wall tells us this was where the brilliant violinist, Jesús de Monasterio, was born. We then leave behind the modern building with a wide corridor, which is the old people´s residence, and down the street of San Roque, we reach a building where the old convent of San Raimundo was, managed by the Dominican monks in the XVIII century.

A modern bridge over the Deva takes us to the town´s educational buildings: residence and schools, as well as a sports complex with tracks, sports hall and pools. In San Roque street, there´s a magnificent arcade with a coat of arms, from the XVIII century, which belonged to the Osorio family. We walk uphill along El Canton and go down again to the town centre, with the bandstand and market square, documented from 1291. We can finally return through the bridge of La Cárcel, crossing the river Deva up to the Tower called El Infantado.

 

HILL-WALKING FROM POTES

Potes, as it is located in the centre of Liébana´s valley, is a strategic point to go on any hill-walking route and get to know the natural beauties of the region as well as Picos de Europa.

One of the routes leaves the south, from a near by track going up to the hermitage of Valmayor and which, from the spring of Otero, will take us to discover one of the best and more valuable cork oak woods in Cantabria: the cork oak wood of Tolives. Up a track, we discover a beautiful panoramic of Potes and the Eastern Massif of Picos de Europa, we will pass by Pandos and Camarines, until we arrive to a field with an old winter shelter. We are in Tolives. Here it is possible to contemplate the magnificent cork oaks, located preferably on the south and western hillsides, grappled to the rocks. We can also discover a rich fauna with the eagle (Circaetus gallicus) standing out. From Tolives we can reach, along the track and later on a path, passing next to the remains of the old convent of Tresantiago, the abandoned village of Porcieda, with its hermitage of Virgen de las Nieves. From this point we can also go to Tudes, end of the journey, where there´s a good sample of popular architecture in Liébana.

Another mountain route leaves from the School "Concepción Arenal" in Potes and through a road drives us in continuous ascension to the village of Rases. This road strays before covering five hundred meters and, descending next to the river Deva, will take us very comfortably down near the village of Tama, watching the village of Ojedo on the opposite side of the river. Continuing with the previous route, from Rases, we can continue along the track passing next to some centenarian chestnut trees to reach the meadow of Sierra Vielves, where there´s a spring. Two tracks descend on our right; one goes to Armaño and the other longer, to Yes; district of the village of Viñón (Cillorigo). Continuing along the left track we´ll get to Cueto Aro, with a TV aerial and one of the places offering an unimaginable view of Liébana and Picos de Europa. If we keep on the main track, we can then pass by Cabañustre, where it gets steeper, and by Ullances, arriving at the pasture lands of Trulledes. From here, along an impressive and very hard channel, we can reach the col and San Carlos peak, in the Eastern Massif of Picos de Europa. At the summit there´s an image of the Sacred Heart and here, a concurred pilgrimage take place every five years.

The route from Potes to La Viorna starts at the hermitage of Virgen del Camino, passing next to the cemetery and, in continuous ascension along the track, we arrive to the plain of Aceluengo, where there´s a great panoramic of the valley of Potes. From here, we walk uphill towards La Viorna among bracken, disperse pyreneean oaks and some holm oaks, finally reaching the cross which dominates this hill. The cross is twelve meters and half tall and was built in July, 1948. From the summit we can contemplate the whole valley of Liébana, with all the tiny villages in the different valleys, as well as the Eastern Massif of Picos de Europa.

Another two short routes from Potes are those which go by the old road to Frama and from Albanes to Valmeo. The first, starts in the road outburst, which goes to Vega de Liébana, along a path taking us up to the same height as the village of Ojedo (Cillorigo), where we will end up if we walk down along the path on our left from the crossroads. If we take the right one, we will confortably reach the village of Frama (Cabezón de Liébana), with many orchards and vineyards on our way.

The route from Potes to Valmeo begins in the district El Sol and passes next to the fields of Albanes, leaving the river Quiviesa on our left. It is a simple and flat route, that will take us to Huerta Vitor, where a path, with the river to our left always as a reference, will allow us to arrive at Valmeo, in the municipality of Vega de Liébana.

Finally lets highlight, although it is already mentioned in another section, that the route from Potes to the hermitage Virgen de Valmayor, will take us to the hermitage in hardly one kilometre. We´ll have to follow the road which, starting south of Potes, and next to the main road leading to Vega de Liébana, goes up and forks into three roads. We forget about the first left one, and any of the two remaining, next to a house, will take us to the hermitage. It is located in a magnificent meadow dominating the valley of Potes.

Routes:
CABEZÓN | CAMALEÑO | CILLORIGO | PESAGUERO | POTES | TRESVISO | VEGA

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