Huelva, between Seville and Portugal
Founded on the long mouth of the Rio Odiel more than 2000 years ago by the Phoenicians who named it Onuba, Huelva then saw the Carthaginians, then the Romans, before being conquered at the beginning of the 8th century by the Muslims who named it Welba.
Between Seville and Portugal on a marshy land in the Guadianía basin, Huelva is very close to Palos de la Frontera, from where Christopher Columbus sailed for the Americas. At the tip of the Sebo at the confluence of the Odiel and Tinto Ríos stands in memory of this event the “Fe Descubridora”, faith in discovery, a monument that has become one of the symbols of the city.
Reconstructed at the end of the 18th century, Huelva is an industrial and port city in which the Rio Tinto mines, acquired by an English company in the 1870s, flourished. A British presence that introduced the local Andalusians to football, tennis and cricket.
Less touristy than its Andalusian counterparts, Huelva remains an obligatory passage towards the seaside resorts of its close coastline.
Huelva, which is awaiting the creation of an airport between Faro in Portugal and Seville, is linked to these two cities by motorway and to the other Andalusian and Spanish cities by high-speed train (ALVIA).
At the confluence of the Rio Odiel and Tinto rivers, between Portugal and Seville, Huelva has always been a meeting point between different cultures and civilizations, all of which have left their mark in its historical centre.
Originally included in the Merced convent, this 17th century cathedral was destroyed by successive earthquakes in the 18th century. Reconstructed in 1775 in a colonial style, it was consecrated cathedral in 1953 and classified as a national monument in 1970.
Access: Plaza de la Merced.
Free admission during worship hours from Monday to Friday at 8 pm, on Sundays from 11 am to 12 pm and at 7 pm, Wednesday and Friday from 11 am to 1 pm and then from 6 pm to 7 pm from 1 October to 30 June.
San Pedro Church
Built in the 15th and 16th centuries in Gothic style on the site of a mosque, the Parroquía de San Pedro is the oldest church in the city.
In the shady little square named after him, the Church of San Pedro underwent several alterations, especially after the devastating earthquake of 1755.
Access: Plaza de San Pedro. Opening hours: Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 12 noon and then from 5:30 pm to 7 pm, on Sundays from 9:30 am. to 10:30 am and from 5:30 pm to 7 pm.
Provincial Museum of Huelva.
On Alameda Sundheim Avenue, the Huelva Provincial Museum offers a journey through the history of Huelva and its nearby region. Two rooms, one dedicated to archaeology and the other to fine arts, particularly exhibiting contemporary artists from the province, make us happy with this history of the Neolithic period in Roman times.
The first presents an interesting collection of mining material recalling the very old mining of the Tinto River. Among these objects: a unique hydraulic wheel in Spain. Not far from the museum, to the south of the historic centre, the Reina Victoria district with its square alleys identified by letters presents an architecture resulting from the presence of British miners in the city.
A few hundred metres away, on the banks of the Odiel river, the former metal copper expedition terminal built in 1872 by George Bruce, advised by a certain Gustave Eiffel, still bears witness to this flourishing past activity.
Access: Avenue Alameda Sundheim, 13.
Opening hours: Wednesdays to Saturdays from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm, Sundays from 9:00 am to 2:30 pm, Tuesdays from 2:30 pm to 8:30 pm.
Admission: 1.50 € – free for EU nationals.
Sanctuary of La Cinta
Also known as the Cinta Hermitage, the Sanctuary of Nuestra Señora de la Cinta is located about 2 km north of the historic centre of Huelva in a district called “El Conquero”.
Its 15th century Gothic construction has undergone several transformations. Composed of three brick naves, the arch of the sanctuary of the central nave is Mudéjar inspired. It houses a magnificent fresco of the Virgin of the Cinta, patron saint of the city, as well as earthenware showing Christopher Columbus visit to these places.
Access: Avenida de Cristóal Colón then Carretera de la Cinta or by Avenida Manuel Siurot. From the center with bus no. 6.
Opening hours: open Monday to Friday from 9 am to 1 pm and then from 4 pm to 7 pm, Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays from 9:30 am to 1 pm and then from 4:30 pm to 7 pm Free admission.