Torrelavega (Cantabrian: Torlavega) is a municipality and important industrial and commercial hub in the single province Autonomous Community of Cantabria in northern Spain.


Torlavega  (Cantabrian)
Church of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción.
Church of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción.
Flag of Torrelavega
Coat of arms of Torrelavega
Coat of arms
Ave Maria
(Hail Mary)
Location of the Municipality of Torrelavega in Cantabria.
Location of the Municipality of Torrelavega in Cantabria.
Torrelavega is located in Spain
Location in Spain.
Coordinates: 43°21′11″N 4°2′45″W / 43.35306°N 4.04583°W / 43.35306; -4.04583
Country Spain
Autonomous community Cantabria
ComarcaValle del Besaya
Founded14th century as Torre de la Vega
 • AlcaldeJosé Manuel Cruz Viadero (2015) (PSC-PSOE)
 • Total35.54 km2 (13.72 sq mi)
25 m (82 ft)
Highest elevation
606 m (1,988 ft)
Lowest elevation
12 m (39 ft)
 • Total51,687
 • Density1,500/km2 (3,800/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Official language(s)Spanish
WebsiteOfficial website

It is situated roughly 8 kilometres from the Cantabrian Coast and 27.5 kilometres from the capital of the Autonomous Community, Santander, half way between the Principality of Asturias and the Basque Country. The rivers Saja and Besaya flow through the city.

It is the capital of the comarca (county, but with no administrative role) of Valle del Besaya which includes also composed of the municipalities of Suances, Polanco, Cartes, Los Corrales de Buelna, Cieza, Arenas de Iguña, Bárcena de Pie de Concha, Molledo, Anievas and San Felices de Buelna.

Its highest point is 606 metres and its lowest point is 12 metres.

Torrelavega is a regional center for industry and transport, and its weekly livestock fair is famous in Spain. Its stadium is known as El Malecon. The Cave of Altamira, famed for the prehistoric paintings found inside, is about 10 kilometers northwest of the city.


Torrelavega was founded at the end of the thirteenth century by Garci Lasso de la Vega I (the elder), Adelantado Mayor of the Kingdom of Castile in the name of King Alfonso XI of Castile.

Its current name is due to the contraction of the original eponym of "Torre de la Vega". The Castle or Tower of the Vega's was built by Leonor Lasso de la Vega, daughter of Garci Lasso de la Vega II, the younger, and mother of the Íñigo López de Mendoza, marqués de Santillana in order to administer the tax and privilege due in the family's territory.

Town Hall.
Avenida de España (Avenue of Spain).

The name of the comarca, Valle del Besaya is derived from the Astur-Leonese Bisalia, which in turn derives from the Celtic, Bis-salia (the second Salia or Saja) from the two rivers that flow through the city.

Torrelavega was an important agricultural hub in the Kingdom of Castile since medieval times. Continuous population growth and industrial development enabled Torrelavega to attain city status in 1895 from the Queen Regent Maria Christina of Bourbon, Princess of the Two Sicilies.

The city is home to the main seat of the Spanish anarcho-syndicalist labor union the Confederación Nacional del Trabajo.



Neighborhoods within the Metropolitan AreaEdit

  • La Inmobiliaria
  • El Barrio de Sorravides
  • El Barrio Covadonga
  • La Nueva Ciudad
  • El Zapatón
  • El Poblado

Neighboring municipalitiesEdit

Notable peopleEdit

Twin townsEdit


  1. ^ Municipal Register of Spain 2018. National Statistics Institute.

External linksEdit