The internationally known prehistoric caves of Mount Castillo are the most valuable resource of this municipality. These caves show a perfect sequence of the different paleolithic periods in a spectacular karstic setting. An unforgettable visit when traveling to the Pas region.
28,5 Km away from Santander, Puente Viesgo is located in the central area of the region, in the mid-low course of Pas river, and in the northwestern limit of the region. Limits south with Corvera de Toranzo and west with Castañeda.
Population: 2.453 Extension: 36,1 Km2 Altitude: 70-730
Towns: Aés · Hijas · Las Presillas · Puente Viesgo · Vargas.
Capital town: Puente Viesgo
Mid-mountain, with a rough and of steep slopes relief, is Puente Viesgo. The lower area, occupied by Pas riverbed, contrasts with southern highest levels, in Mounts Hijas and Aés. Although forest vegetation has almost disappeared in the municipality, there still survives in these mountains a woodland of oak and beech trees.
A very peculiar corner is found in the interior of these mounts, Humedal de la Turba, old lake now clogged. Dobra rock mass is in the central area of the municipality, extending itself outside of the region. Hijas and Aés are not the only elevations here. In the area can be found the beech grove of La Juyuela, expectional woodland. The forests left are eucalyptus and pines of little nature value and meant for wood exploitation.
- Pre-historic and archaeological heritage: in this municipality is located one of the most representative of Early Palaeolothic cave groups in all of the Atlantic arch. With samples and styles of great international value cave paintings, there are decens of animal figures and other drawings and symbols in El Castillo, Las Chimeneas, La Pasiega, Las Monedas and, most recently discovered, La Flecha.
- Religious heritage: there are many interesting constructions from 17th and 18th centuries, between them the churches of Saint Nicholas (Las Presillas), Saint Vitores (Hijas), Saint Mary (Vargas), Saint Roman (Aés), Saint Michael (Puente Viesgo) and the Sancturay of the Virgin of Gracia (Aés). Also stands out the shrine ensemble in Las Presillas.
- Civil architectural heritage: in the municipality we find valuable samples of Modern Age civil architecture, popular and stately. Stand out House of El Rico, the Palaces of La Busta and La Jilguera (Las Presillas), the Palace of the Marquis of El Castañar, and the Palace of Bustillo and Ceballos (Vargas).
The spa from 19th century and the pre-historic findings of nearby caves are a strong touristic call that has produced a network of recreative services and commerces and restaurants in the municipality. Stands out, of course, the Great Hotel Spa of Puente Viesgo, renovated in 1991, whose chloride, sódium, bicarbonate and calcium waters are specially indicated for circulatory, respiratory and locomotive problems.
- Shrine route: the town of Las Presillas has the most oustanding ensemble in Cantabria of this crosses and small stone works, mostly done along 18th century, and located on the side of paths or in crossroads, so the pathwalkers could stop and pray. There are 6 in the different town neighbourhoods.
- Greenway of Puente Viesgo: the disappeared railway Astillero-Ontaneda, with continuity in bordering municipalities Castañeda and Toranzo, and its conversion into a perfectly developed nature path, enables the use for bikers and walkers of all kind.