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Day of Cantabria Institutions – July 28, 2024

The Day of Cantabria Institutions is on July 28 and marks the anniversary of when the autonomous province of Cantabria was created. Many people outside of Spain may not know of Cantabria. We’ll go out on a limb and say most of us don’t know Spain beyond Madrid and Barcelona. Cantabria’s story is proof of that. Cantabria is an independent province in the north of Spain, famous for its natural and cultural beauty. With a way of life and identity unlike other parts of Spain, it’s no surprise why Cantabrians are a proud people.

History of Day of Cantabria Institutions

Most of us may think Spain is a culturally homogenous country but it is not so. In reality, Spain comprises several autonomous regions. Each one possesses a certain level of self-governance and distinct cultural identities. Cantabria on the northern coast is one such example.

Centuries ago, history first recorded the emergence of a region called Cantabria – home to one of the fiercest Celtic tribes the world had seen. The region’s history goes as far back as 36000 B.C. to 9000 B.C. Stories of a fascinating past are evident from the 6,500 caves in Cantabria — 60 of which contain cave paintings by people in the Paleolithic Age.

Eventually, the region came under the control of the Roman Empire despite the Cantabrians putting up a courageous fight. Cantabria was one of the last places to fall. The Roman conquest ushered in an era of turmoil, where everyone from the Visigoths to the Moors tried taking control of Cantabria. The region finally merged with local kingdoms such as Castile and Asturias.

At the turn of the 18th century, interest in the unique Cantabrian identity arose once again. Several movements of cultural and social resurgence ensued. Around this time, the Cantabrians become serious about forming an independent province. The first attempt took place at the start of the century but was unsuccessful. The wheels began to turn again at the end of the 18th century. Finally, the province of Cantabria was officially born in 1778. Today, Cantabria is an autonomous region in Spain. The Day of Cantabria Institutions commemorates the journey to self-governance and the people’s freedom.

Day of Cantabria Institutions timeline

101 A.D. — 200 A.D.
Earliest Historical Records

History first records evidence of a region named Cantabria occupied predominantly by Celtic tribes.

A Province is Born

An assembly convenes in Puente San Miguel to officially form the Province of Cantabria.

Free and Autonomous

On December 30, Cantabria becomes an autonomous region.

The Formation of Institutions Day

Officials unanimously approve a proposal to make July 28 Day of Cantabria Institutions.

Day of Cantabria Institutions FAQs

What is Cantabria known for?

Apart from its stunning coastlines, Cantabria is famous for the Cave of Altamira, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Altamira is a cave complex with drawings that provide insights into the Paleolithic Age.

What is the capital of Cantabria?

Santander is the capital of Cantabria and one of its largest cities. It is home to approximately 526,866 people.

Are the Basques Spanish?

The Basques originally come from regions in northwest Spain and southwest France. These regions are called ‘Euskal Herria’ by the Basque people.

Day of Cantabria Institutions Activities

  1. Celebrate like a local

    Today is a public holiday in Cantabria. Celebrate with a big, communal meal the way Cantabrians usually do. Participating in sports competitions is another traditional way to celebrate.

  2. Visit Cantabria

    Cantabria is still a lesser-known, unspoiled travel destination. The region has over 135 miles of stunning coastline and quaint towns.

  3. Learn about Cantabria

    Cantabria is proof that there’s more to Spain than meets the eye. Spend today reading up about the region’s fascinating history and culture.

5 Facts About Spain That Will Blow Your Mind

  1. Spain shares borders with Africa

    Spain has an outpost in Morocco called Cueta, which means it’s the only European country to share a land border with Africa.

  2. Spanish is widely-spoken

    Spanish is the second-most spoken language in the world, after Mandarin.

  3. British vs. Spanish Empire

    With territories in the Philippines, Southern, and South America, the sun never sets on the Spanish empire.

  4. Not everyone in Spain speaks Spanish

    Basque County speaks Basque, Galicia is mostly Celtic, and Catalonia speaks Catalan.

  5. Home to the first novel

    The world’s first novel was Miguel de Cervantes’ “Don Quixote.”

Why We Love Day of Cantabria Institutions

  1. Spain through new eyes

    Spain is Madrid, Barcelona, and the flamenco, among others. Not many realize that the country has so much more to it.

  2. Recognizing unique cultures

    The Day of the Institutions of Cantabria celebrates a region’s distinct identity. It reminds us not to homogenize or oversimplify ideas of national identity.

  3. Celebrates autonomy

    Self-determination anywhere in the world is a cause for celebration. We raise our glasses with and to Cantabria today.

Day of Cantabria Institutions dates

2024July 28Sunday
2025July 28Monday
2026July 28Tuesday
2027July 28Wednesday
2028July 28Friday

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