Guide to Huelva, a city in the Costa de la Luz region of Spain.

Spanish Cities - Huelva

Huelva Spain - Capital of the Huelva province of Andalucia, south-western Spain, Huelva is an ancient city originally founded as Onoba by the Phoenicians, it has a population of around 145,000 (2007) and was the former home of the famous Rio Tinto Company, which exported its products all over the world.

Reputed to be the site of the ancient city of Tartessus, the Phoenicians and later the Romans called it Onoba (sometimes Onuba on coins), it was incorporated into the Roman province of Hispania Baetica, it was later known as Walbah during the Arab occupation. Modern Huelva still has some remains from the Roman times and the city once had its own mint, with numerous coins found in the area bearing the name “Onuba”.

After a long period of decline following the reconquest Huelva came back to prominence during the 15th and 16th centuries, when Christopher Columbus famously sailed from nearby Palos de Frontera, the subsequent wealth brought back from the Americas, rejuvenated the town though it later took a back seat to Seville which became much more important.

Always a significant port, Huelva lies between two river - the Guardiana and the Guadilquivir, and on the estuary of the Odiel River. It was from the Odiel harbour that the Rio Tinto Company (a British mining company), exported its products and in the area of Barrio Reina Victoria is built a suburb resembling old England, for its employees, to make them feel more at home.

Modern Huelva is still a working port and the nearby coastline is increasing in importance as a tourist destination, boasting many unspoilt beaches, along the region which is known as the Costa de la Luz.

Amongst interesting places to visit in Huelva is the cathedral - the Nuestra Señora de la Merced, located on the Plaza de la Merced, it is part of a convent established in the 17th century by the Duke of Medina Sidonia, and rebuilt after the great Lisbon earthquake which destroyed much of Huelva, the Casa Colon (coulmbus House), the Mora Claros Palace, the 15th century sanctuary, Nuestra Señora de la Cinta and the Rio Tinto Company docks, now a pleasant promenade area.

Huelva can be accessed from the A-49 (E-1) which runs between Seville and the Portuguese border. The nearest Spanish airport for Huelva is in Seville which is around 100 kilometres away, it can also be accessed from Faro airport on the Algarve, Portugal.

Huelva Links: Huelva Map - Huelva Weather

Costa de la Luz Places: Ayamonte - Cadiz - Hinojos - Isla Canela - Isla Cristina - Punta Umbria - Tarifa

Related: Andalucia - Seville - Cordoba - Malaga - Gibraltar - Builders