Santander, Spain

Santander is a resort that from 1913 to 1930 became a royal residence after city officials presented an English-style Magdalena Palace to Alfonso XIII and his queen, Victoria Eugenia. An ancient city, Santander was damaged by a 1941 fire, which destroyed the old quarter and most of its dwellings. It was rebuilt along original lines, with wide boulevards, a waterfront promenade, sidewalk cafes, shops, restaurants and hotels. Santander is an education center, with courses offered at the once-royal palace, now the Menendez Pelayo International University. Students and teachers from North America and Europe come here to study and enjoy the area.