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Huelva is a city in southwestern Spainmarker, the capital of the province of Huelvamarker in the autonomous region of Andalusiamarker. It is located along the Gulf of Cadizmarker coast, at the confluence of the Odiel and Tintomarker rivers. According to the 2005 census, the city has a population of 145,150 inhabitants. The town is home to Recreativo de Huelva, the oldest football club in Spain. Huelva is notable for being the site of landfall for Hurricane Vince, the only Tropical Cyclone ever to make landfall in Europe.

Location and history

Santuario de la Cinta
A maritime town between the rivers Anas (modern Guadianamarker) and Baetis (modern Guadalquivir), it was seated on the estuary of the River Luxia (modern Odiel), and on the road from the mouth of the Anas to Augusta Emerita (modern Méridamarker).

The city may be the site of Tartessus; by the Phoeniciansmarker it was called Onoba. The Greeks kept the name and rendered it . It was in the hands of the Turdetani at the time of conquest by Romemarker, and before the conquest it issued silver coins with Iberian legends. It was called both Onoba Aestuaria or Onuba (used on coinage) during Roman times, or, simply, Onoba. The city was incorporated into the Roman province of Hispania Baetica. The Arabs then called it Walbah and ruled between 712-1250. It suffered substantial damage in the 1755 Lisbon earthquakemarker.

There are still some Roman remains. The city had a mint; and many coins have been found there bearing the name of the town as Onuba.


Modern Huelva

The local football club, Recreativo de Huelva, is the oldest in Spain and was founded in 1889 by workers of Rio Tinto Group, a British mining company.


Port of Huelva
Nowadays the Port of Huelva is located like one of the Spanish ports of greater activity, competitiveness and growth. It is divided in two sectors: the inner port (in the city) and the outer port (the main one)

Inner Port (a wharf). Constructed in 1972, the East Wharf, replaced constructed harbour facilities of inferior quality between 1900 and 1910. At the moment it is the wharf of the city that smaller traffic has but, to the most centric being, is considered like the authentic port of Huelva. It emphasizes a small limited zone in which is the wharf of the canoes and that connects Huelva with Shady End in summer by means of a tourist boat and the English garages of locomotives. Also it is necessary to as much emphasize in this complex the market as the shipyards of Huelva, in the zone from the entrance to the city by the bridge siphon.

Outer Port (six wharves). In 1965, after the first concessions of the Industrial Pole the works of the Outer Port begin or New Port, to the south of the River Tinto. They began with the oil wharf of Tower River sand, culminating itself with the engineer wharf Juan Gonzalo, constructed between 1972 and 1975. At the end of the 1960s construction of the bridges of the Red (1967) and Siphon of Shady End (1969) was completed. The wharves of Tharsis and Río Tinto and the old fishing boat lost their old activity. In this way, the transference of activity towards the Outer Port experiences a decisive impulse and in 1975, agreeing with the extension of the industrial estate of the new port, in woods of the border, the port obtains an extension of its Zone on watch in the Outer Port, consolidating the character of that zone like present and future axis of the harbour activity of Huelva.This situation was confirmed still more with the construction in 1981 of the Dock Juan Carlos I. This same development has taken to the port towards the south and has modified the paper of the East Wharf, that it has now as main traffic the fishing and the movement of clean merchandise, like the paper paste, the copper anodes and cathodes and the tripolifosfatos. At the moment his President is D. Jose Antonio Marín Rite, before President of the Parliament Andalusian, and his director, prestigious engineer D. Enrique Perez


Pablo Rada street
Huelva has a population of 146,173 (INE 2007). The city experienced a population boom in the 19th century, due to the exploitation of mineral resources in the area and another due to the construction of the Polo de Desarrollo in the 1960s. The city had only 5,377 inhabitants in 1787 which had only risen to 8,519 by 1857. From 1887, the city experienced rapid growth reaching 21,539 residents in 1900 and 56,427 forty years later. By 1970 this figure had risen to 96,689. Further rapid expansion occurred and the number of inhabitants had reached 144,479 by 1991.

In the last ten years, immigration both from abroad and from the surrounding area have caused continued growth in the city’s population. In 2007, the city reached the 145,000 mark whilst the metropolitan area was touching 221,000, encompassing the surrounding areas of Aljaraquemarker, Moguermarker, San Juan del Puertomarker, Punta Umbríamarker, Gibraleónmarker and Palos de la Fronteramarker. The 2006 census noted a foreign population of almost 5,000 people in the urban centre, the majority of whom were of Moroccanmarker origin.

Christopher Columbus

Among the attractions to visit in this province are the Columbus sites. These sites include the city of Huelva itself, Moguermarker, Palos de la Fronteramarker, and the Rábida Monasterymarker. La Rábida is where Columbus sought the aid of the Franciscan brothers in advancing his project of discovery. They introduced him to local rich sailors (the Pinzón brothers), and, eventually, arranged a meeting in Sevillemarker with Ferdinand and Isabella.

Thanks to those meetings, Columbus was able to arrange his first voyage, using resources and local crew (including ship captains). There is a persistent legend that Columbus received advice on how best to undertake a western passage by speaking with Alonso Sánchez, a sailor from the city of Huelva.

In the Huelva area, Columbus exchanged ideas, explored competing theories, and, after a time, put together the political and economic support that had been previously denied to him by other European monarchies.


The most outstanding artists in Huelva have been: the poet and prize Nobel of Literature Juan Ramón Jiménez, the sculptor Antonio León Ortega, the writer Nicolas Tenorio Cerero and the painter Daniel Vázquez Díaz.

Other plastic outstanding artists of Huelva are painting José Caballero, Pedro Gómez y Gómez, Antonio Brunt, Mateo Orduña Castellano, Pablo Martínez Coto, Manuel Moreno Díaz, Juan Manuel Seisdedos Romero, Francisco Doménech, Esperanza Abot, José María Labrador, Sebastián García Vázquez, Pilar Barroso, Juan Carlos Castro Crespo, Lola Martín, Antonio Gómez Feu, Rafael Aguilera and Florencio Aguilera Correa.


  • Carnaval, fiesta
  • Festival de Cine [41085]
  • Fiestas Colombinas, fiesta first week of August
  • Fiestas de la Cinta, between 3 - 8 September
  • San Sebastián, festival 20 January
  • Semana Santa (Easter Week)
  • Virgen de la Cinta, fiesta 8 September
  • El Rocio


Near Huelva lay Herculis Insula, mentioned by Strabo (iii. p. 170), called by Steph. B. (s. v.), now Isla Saltés.

Twin towns

Huelva is twinned with:

See also



  1. Antonine Itinerary p. 431.)
  2. Greek: , Ptolemy, ii. 4. § 5.
  3. Strabo, iii. p. 143, Pomponius Mela, iii. 1. § 5.
  4. Enrique Florez, Med. ii. pp. 510, 649; Théodore Edme Mionnet, i. p. 23, Suppl. p. 39; Sestini, Med. Isp. p. 75, ap. Friedrich August Ukert, vol. ii. pt. 1. p. 340.

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