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Comunidad Autónoma de
Flag of Cantabria Coat of Arms
Image:Locator map of Cantabria.png
Capital Santander
 – Total
 – % of Spain
Ranked 15th
 5 321 km²
 – Total (2003)
 – % of Spain
 – Density
Ranked 14th
 – GDP (2002)
 8,911.5 million
 – English
 – Spanish
cántabro/a, cantábrico/a
Statute of Autonomy January 11, 1981
Postal code 39xxx
ISO 3166-2 S
National Anthem Himno de Cantabria

 – Congress seats
 – Senate seats
    – Elected:
    – Appointed:
 5 Deputies

 4 Senators
 1 Senator
President Miguel Ángel Revilla Roiz (PRC)
Gobierno de Cantabria

Cantabria is an autonomous community of Spain, containing one province (also called Cantabria).

It borders to the east on the Basque Country (province of Vizcaya), to the south on Castile and León (provinces of León, Palencia, and Burgos), to the west on Asturias, and to the north on the "Cantabrian Sea", the local designation for the part of the Bay of Biscay that lies off its coast..

Santander functions as the capital of Cantabria.

See also List of communities in Cantabria.

Cantabria shares the National Park Picos de Europa (in the Picos de Europa mountain range) with Asturias and León.



In pre-Roman times the people known as Cantabri inhabited Cantabria. The name has no connection with Cantabrigia, a Latinate version of Cambridge. Many different authors have written about the origins of the name Cantabria, including Isidore of Seville, Julio Caro Baroja, Aureliano Fernández Guerra, Joaquín Gonzalez Echegaray, and Adolf Schulten. No consensus on the matter exists, but many experts suggest a derivation from the Celtic root cant-, meaning "rock" or "stone", and from the suffix -abr, used frequently in Celtic regions. From this we can deduce that the word "cántabro" means "dwelling in the mountains", referring to the rugged terrain of Cantabria.


Area: 5.321 km2


Freeways/motorways: Autovía del Cantábrico (A-8), Autovía de la Meseta (under construction), N-623.
Seaport: Puerto de Raos (Santander)
Airport: Aeropuerto de Parayas (Santander)

Climate: Cantabria has a reputation for a rainy and cool Seattle-like climate.

Dukedom of Cantabria


GDP (2002): 8,911.5 million.



549,690 people in the 2003 census, representing 1.29% of the population of Spain.
Population density 103.31 people/km2
Life expectancy: 75 years for men, 83 years for women.


Cántabro/a and cantábrico - we generally use "Cantabrian" for people and things, and "Cantabric" for places.
Montañés - literally "Mountainese", but English-speakers do not use this term.
Santanderino/a - this refers specifically to residents of Santander, but often applies to other Cantabrians as well: before 1981 the entire Cantabric area formed the Province of Santander.

Famous Cantabrians

Historical Figures:

Art and Literature:

Science and Technology:


Panoramic view of a meadow in Cantabria.
Panoramic view of a meadow in Cantabria.

Autonomous Communities of Spain Flag of Spain
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