This prison consisting of two cells and an interior courtyard was built by the townspeople in 1879; Today is the pilgrim’s hostel on their way to Santiago.
The traditional route began in the ancient capital, Santillana del Mar passed through Oreña, Novales, crossing Cigüenza and then Cóbreces. Between Cóbreces and Comillas the pilgrims had to cross Tramalón, whose hermitage still houses the image of Saint James.
Once they had crossed Ruiloba and passed through Concha they were in El Portillo, where there is a watchtower that once was used as a signal post to tell the harpooners by means of the smoke of a fire that there were whales near the coast.
During the seventeenth century, Comillas was the whaling capital of the Bay of Biscay and thanks to it, the town was freed from the marquisate’s domain. A hospital for pilgrims and passers-by was built a century earlier by a devout woman in the town. In the nineteenth century a legend referring to the pilgrim’s route to Santiago mentioned Comillas. According to the legend, there was a knight who was guarding the relic of Saint James as his disciples carried him from Jerusalem to Santiago. He found no way to cross Comillas’s valley, so riding his horse he got into the water and finally arrived to Galicia. When he got out of the water, he saw that he and his horse body were covered with shells. Since then the shell has become the apostle’s shield, and thus the pilgrims began to wear them.
This mythical legend tells us that the coast route was regularly used at that time.