The Cathedral was built in the 14th century on part of the Crypt’s terrain. It does not look like the great Spanish Gothic cathedrals due to the constant modifications and catastrophes it suffered (such as the 1941 fire) so that most of the original work was lost. All the exterior was rebuilt, the prismatic tower (the oldest one), the apses, the octagonal lantern, the façade. Despite this, it keeps its Gothic appearance with its three naves, the central one higher and wider, and separated by high pillars with eight columns.
The lying sculpture of don Pedro Camus from 1599 and don Marcelino Menéndez Pelayo's tomb stand out. A strange Arabian font for ablutions in white marble is kept. Tradition holds that it was taken from Cordoba, others guess it was taken by some native of Santander while returning from the conquest of Seville.
The entrance to the cathedral is through the cloister, that is to say, through the main door on the southern wall that still maintains Gothic traces with pointed arches, the exterior is all covered with trimming borders. There are no sculptures and the tympanum and jams were rebuilt probably in the 17th century. The cathedral’s cloister encompasses a extensive rectangular area framed by four covered wings. Each wing is divided into five sections covered with lancet arches. It seems that the cloister was built once the church was completed, that is to say, at the beginning of the 15th century and it was used both for the monks’ cemetery (who occupied the garden) and the villagers who were buried in the South and East wings.
Along the wings of the cloister, as a way of exhibition, you can fin some stone and wooden sculptures. There are also some sepulchers, among them one dating from 1249 with a intertwined covering, a Romanesque touch and rose windows. On the East wing, there is a sarcophagus’ cover featuring a lying man dating from the 15th century, placed on six lions.