Santander, city (1990 pop. 194,221), capital of Cantabria prov., N Spain, in Cantabria, on the Bay of Biscay. It is a seaport, fishing center, and a popular resort. On the nearby peninsula of Magdalena is a former royal summer palace. An ancient port, Santander became, after the discovery of America, one of the busiest harbors of N Spain. The exploitation of nearby mines has favored the development of industries (ironworks and shipyards). The 13th-century cathedral and the business district were destroyed by fire in 1941, but have been restored. There is an international summer university named for the writer Marcelino Menéndez y Pelayo. It is the site of the Univ. of Santander (1972).