The place is one of the most attractive in the community because of its historical character, its gastronomy, its particular traditions and its location in an incomparable natural setting. The streets you see in Potes are crossed by numerous bridges that cross the river Deva and its tributary the Quiviesa. Meanwhile, the San Cayetano Bridge and the Prison Bridge join the two parts of the Old Town. This is the heart of the old part of the town which, despite restoration, still retains its medieval appearance.
The first thing to see in Potes is the deconsecrated Church of San Vicente or the Old Church (14th-17th centuries), which currently houses an exhibition hall. Opposite it stands the new Church of San Vicente (19th century), of lesser artistic interest but with interesting Baroque altarpieces from the old convent of San Raimundo. Next to both, in a small garden, is the Monument to the violinist and composer Jesús de Monasterio, made by P. Estany in 1903. The house where the musician was born is also preserved, at the end of the street that bears his name.
The Infantado Tower is the current headquarters of the Town Hall. It is a tower-house built in the 15th century, with a square floor plan. It has few openings and is topped by four small angular towers ending in battlements. The tower was ordered to be built by the Lama family, and then passed on to Diego Hurtado de Mendoza. The construction was the scene of the violence described in the historical introduction, as well as the seat of the corregidor and the prison.
Heading west, through a portico, one arrives at the del Sol district. In this area the Orejón de la Lama Tower (15th century) was built, with a square floor plan, three heights and emblazoned with the arms of Bedoya and Celis. This building usually hosts exhibitions and other cultural events. There are also a number of manor houses in the neighbourhood. Among them shines the Casona de la Canal where the Cartographic Museum of Juan de la Cosa is located. The Cantabrian sailor and cartographer is known for having drawn the oldest map of the American continent. Crossing the San Cayetano bridge, you arrive at the La Solana neighbourhood, with simple houses of popular architecture in narrow cobbled streets.
On the other hand, the San Roque district has more landmarks to see in Potes, such as the San Raimundo Convent. It was founded in 1608 and still preserves the facade and the cloister. In turn, the districts of El Tullo and Fuente de la Riega still maintain that atmosphere of rural nobility that characterizes the town.
Infantado Tower in Potes
There are four remarkable chapels to see in Potes. These are the Hermitage of the Virgen del Camino, the Hermitage of San Miguel, the Hermitage of the Virgen de Valmayor and the Hermitage of San Cayetano, next to the bridge of the same name. The second last one is the farthest from the town centre, as well as the most popular. The villagers go to it in a procession, carrying the Virgin on a platform, every 15 August.
Monastery of Santo Toribio
A market is held every Monday around the Jesús de Monasterio park. You can buy typical products from Liébana and the surrounding regions, such as cheese, orujo, chorizo or honey. On the other hand, the year in which the festivity of Santo Toribio (16 April) falls on a Sunday, the Lebaniego Jubilee Year is celebrated in the Monastery of Santo Toribio de Liébana (in Camaleño, 5 km from Potes). This is where the monastery of San Martín de Turieno used to be, where the monk who enlightened the famous Beato de Liébana (776) lived. Such a manuscript illustrates the Comments on the Apocalypse by St. John.
The Lignum Crucis, the largest surviving fragment of the Cross of Christ, is venerated in the monastery. It is the protagonist of a much celebrated feast in Liébana, that of “The Exaltation of the Cross”. It has taken place since time immemorial in the grounds near the monastery. The celebrations are accompanied in Potes by a contest of tortillas, descent of the river Diviesa, fireworks, verbena, etc.
During the month of November, for a weekend, the “Fiesta del Orujo” is celebrated. This is an alcoholic drink made from the skin, stems and seeds of the grape. In the small temple in the square, the alquitaras are lit and tastings are offered to all the people who attend the festival. In addition, the distinction of “Orujero Mayor” is awarded to an outstanding personality.
Other traditional events to see in Potes are the cattle fairs that appear documented since the 14th century. Currently, six livestock fairs are held in the Ferial de La Serna throughout the year. It lasts one day. This concludes the visit to the best thing to see in Potes, one of the most beautiful villages in Cantabria.