Culture and Monuments in Huelva | Costasur.com


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The historical monuments in Huelvba represent the fines cultural attractions in the city beacuse if there is something Huelva has, it is history! Several settlements have left their legacy in the city over the years.

With regard to the culture and historical monuments of Huelva, there is plenty of megalithic architecture that has left its mark on the city.

Since ancient times, Huelva has been a strategic point in the exploitation of metals, especially silver. There are many remains stored in Huelva Provincial Museum ('Museo Provincial de Huelva'), opened in 1973 with the building covering 3,000 m². It has 3 floors and 1 basement, and artefacts that are initially structured into three sections: Archaeology, Fine Arts and Ethnography, although the latter has never properly settled here because in 1971 the city opened the "Museum of Arts and Popular Customs Aracena" as the dedicated ethnographic section.

If we delve into the corners of the city we will find traces of history in every part of Huelva. The district of 'Reina Victoria', commonly called 'Barrio Obrero', was named after the queen of Spain of the time, who was English and wife of Alfonso XIII, in a gesture made by Spanish workers who lived here. It was built on the area of San Cristobal, 8 hectares of land purchased by a German, William Sundheim. In 1870, with money provided by an English banker and an expert in railway engineer, George Barclays Brus, the two men purchased mines for exploitation of the metals found in the area.

They swiftly joined Rio Tinto with the Port of Huelva with a railway line to transport the minerals (George Barclays was the engineer who built the 'Muelle del Tinto'). There is a highly recommended book by a poet and writer from Huelva, Juan Cobos Wilkins, 'Heart of the Earth' (?El Corazon de la Tierra') which tells the story of the passage of the English miners and engineers through our province. The English exploited the mines for 80 years, until the Franco government decided to nationalise the mines.

In 1900 Huelva had a population of 20,000 inhabitants, a century later this had increased to 150,000, and it is mainly due to this exploitation of the mines, then reinforced by industrialisation. Because of the overcrowding, the area began to consider the idea of ??making new homes, and in 1916 the City Council askied for permission to build them. The work began in 1917 with numerous architects lead by Carasa Pérez and Aguado, who as well as the Barrio Obrero, also built a large number of monuments and buildings in and around Huelva.

All the homes were different from one another at the front and also the homes with only one floor were built in a typically Spanish colonial style while most two-storey buildings were built in a Scandinavian style.

In 1927 the men completed the neighbourhood, thanks also to the work of Morgan, who controlled the project and designed the entrance to the neighbourhood with the initials of the Rio Tinto Company.
The area was completely enclosed, leaving only one entrance by car. Street names were given using letters of the alphabet, and to top off these British rarities, a gatehouse was built next to the entrance. The guard was in charge of controlling workers living here,when they came and when they left.

The neighbourhood has been declared an area of cultural interest, and this has ensured that the traditional appearance of the neighbourhood has been kept intact.


The 'Casa Colón' or the White Elephant as it was known to the English, is also a monument built in these years. It was initially built as a hotel to welcome tourists celebrating the fourth centenary of the discovery of America. In 1881 work began, ending in 1883. This hotel operated as such for 11 years under the name of "El Gran Hotel", until years later it was purchased and converted into offices and residences for the managers of 'La Compañia'.

With four buildings, of which only 3 have been preserved, this was one of the most valuable European hotels. It was the first place where you could find electric lights, with its own orchard and even its own butchery. Until a few decades ago, a wall separated the hotel from prying eyes and its gardens are more than 100 years old.

And for football fans, an event of interest occurred here when the Spanish league was created after a meeting held by the Club Recreativo de Huelva.

While we can still marvel over the 'Casa Colon' today, we unfortunately lost the 'Hospital Inglés' facilities, whose land was sold for the construction of the current'Corte Ingles' shopping centre.

The oldest house in Huelva dates from the 15th century, and today is a bar called 'Berdigón 14', situated on the street of the same name. It has been preserved intact because a local bought it and restored the building, leaving it open for some time for cultural visits and tours, before finally converting the house into a bar. In the back of the house you can still see rails that are supposed to have been used by sailors who lived in this area to tie small boats from the flooded area of the 'Avenida de Italia', where there was also a tidal mill. The street name was given due to the mollusc, the Berdigón, which was caught for use as bait.

Some historians say that the architect who built this house was Hanibal Gonzalez, the same man who designed the 'Plaza España' in Seville.

Among the major monuments in the city, we can highlight the 'Monumento a la Fe' (Faith Monument), presented to the city by America in appreciation of the brotherhood demonstrated over the course of history. We also have the monument dedicated to Christopher Columbus in the Plaza de las Monjas. And recently the monument to the 'Virgin del Rocio' found on Plaza del Punto, opposite the 'Casa Colon'. Among the many churches, we can include the 'Catedral de la Merced', recently restored, the Church of San Pedro for its majesty from the square, the Church of the Conception for their avatars from the famous Lisbon earthquake and other catastrophes less natural and the 'Iglesia de la Milagrosa' which is peculiarly small but superb piece of architecture all the same.

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