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Title: Huelva  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: 2009 Peace Cup, Moguer, Estadio Nuevo Colombino, Martín Alonso Pinzón, Seville
Collection: Huelva, Municipalities in the Province of Huelva, Phoenician Colonies in Spain, Roman Sites in Spain
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


This article is in the world's first Encyclopedia Naturalis Historia by Pliny the Elder [77-79 AD]:
see → NH Book 3.7.
Queen Victoria district, English-style suburb
Queen Victoria district, English-style suburb
Flag of Huelva
Coat of arms of Huelva
Coat of arms
Motto: Portus Maris et Terrae Custodia
Location of Huelva
Location of Huelva
Huelva is located in Andalusia
Location in Andalusia
Huelva is located in Spain
Location in Spain
Country  Spain
Autonomous community  Andalusia
Province Huelva
Comarca Comarca metropolitana de Huelva
Founded Tenth century BC
 • Alcalde Gabriel Cruz Santana (PSOE)
 • Total 149 km2 (58 sq mi)
Elevation 54 m (177 ft)
Population (2010)
 • Total 149,410
 • Density 1,000/km2 (2,600/sq mi)
Demonym(s) onubense, (vulgarmente) choquero/a
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 21001 and otros
Website Official website

Huelva (Spanish pronunciation: ) is a city in southwestern Spain, the capital of the province of Huelva in the autonomous region of Andalusia. It is located along the Gulf of Cádiz coast, at the confluence of the Odiel and Tinto rivers. The city has been inhabited since 3000 BC. According to the 2010 census, the city had a population of 149,410. Huelva is home to Recreativo de Huelva, the oldest football club in Spain.


  • Location and history 1
  • Modern Huelva 2
    • Port 2.1
  • Demographics 3
  • Climate 4
  • Christopher Columbus 5
  • Artists 6
  • Events 7
  • Nearby 8
  • International relations 9
    • Twin towns – Sister cities 9.1
  • See also 10
  • Notes 11
  • References 12
  • External links 13

Location and history

Santuario de la Cinta

A maritime town between the rivers Anas (modern Guadiana) and Baetis (modern Guadalquivir), it was situated on the estuary of the River Luxia (modern Odiel), and on the road from the mouth of the Anas to Augusta Emerita (modern Mérida).[1]

The city may be the site of Tartessus; it was called Onoba by the Phoenicians . The Greeks kept the name and rendered it Ὄνοβα. It was in the hands of the Turdetani at the time of conquest by Rome, and before the conquest it issued silver coins with Iberian legends. It was called both Onoba Aestuaria[2] or Onuba (used on coinage) during Roman times, or, simply, Onoba.[3] 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 earthquake.

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.[4] Modern inhabitants are called Onubenses in Spanish. Part of a large wooden wheel that was originally used to drain a copper mine in Huelva was discovered in the late nineteenth century. Dating to the Roman times, it was donated by the British mining company Rio Tinto to the British Museum in 1889.[5]

Mines in the countryside send copper and pyrite to the port for export. From about 1873, the most important company in the area was Rio Tinto, the British mining firm.[6] The mining operations caused severe sulfure dioxide pollution and were frequently accompagnied by protests of local farmers, peasants and miners, allied under the anarchist syndicalist leader Maximiliano Tornet. On 4 February 1888, the Pavi Regiment of the Spanish Army opened fire on demonstrators at the village plaza of Rio Tinto. Historians estimate the number of deaths between 100 to 200.[7] Environmentalists from the nearby Nerva village referred to 1888 as the "year of shots" a hundred years later in their protests against the province government's plans to site a large waste dump in a disused mine in the 1990s.[8]

During World War II, the city was a hub of espionage activities led by members of the large British and German communities. German activity centered on reporting British shipping moving in and out of the Atlantic. Most famously, the city was the location where Operation Mincemeat allowed a body carrying false information to wash ashore.[6] [9]

The body of Glyndwr Michael, the fictional "Major William Martin, Royal Marines," of the espionage operation is buried in the San Marco section of the cemetery of Nuestra Senora under a headstone that reads:

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission in January 1998 added an inscription to the gravestone,[10] which reads:

On 11 October 2005, Hurricane Vince made landfall in Huelva as a tropical depression.

Modern Huelva

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


The Port of Huelva is divided in two sectors: the inner port (in the city) and the outer port (the main one)

Inner Port (one 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 used for smaller traffic including tourist boats.

Outer Port (six wharves). Was built starting in 1965, to the south of the River Tinto.


Huelva had a population of 149,410 in 2010. The city experienced a population boom in the nineteenth century, due to the exploitation of mineral resources in the area, and another with the construction of the Polo de Desarrollo in the 1960s. It had a population of 5,377 inhabitants in 1787, which had risen to only 8,519 by 1857. From 1887, the city experienced rapid growth, reaching 21,539 residents in 1900, 56,427 in 1940, and 96,689 in 1970. Rapid expansion occurred in the following decades and the population reached 141,479 by 1991.

In the last ten years, immigration both from abroad and from the surrounding area have sustained population growth. In 2007, the city reached the 145,000 mark, while the metropolitan area had nearly 232,000 inhabitants, encompassing the surrounding areas of Aljaraque, Moguer, San Juan del Puerto, Punta Umbría, Gibraleón, and Palos de la Frontera. The 2006 census recorded a foreign population of almost 5,000 people in the urban centre, the majority of whom were of Moroccan origin.


Huelva and its metropolitan area have a Subtropical-Mediterranean climate, characterized by very mild and wet winters and long warm to hot and dry summers. The average annual temperature is 23.9 °C (75.0 °F) during the day and 12.4 °C (54.3 °F) at night. The average annual precipitation is 525 mm (20.7 in) per year, there are about 52 rainy days per year. Extreme temperatures have been 43.8 °C (110.8 °F) recorded on 25 July 2004 and −3.2 °C (26.2 °F) recorded on 28 January 2005 at Ronda Este.

Climate data for Huelva, Ronda Este 1981-2010
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 24.0
Average high °C (°F) 16.2
Daily mean °C (°F) 11.0
Average low °C (°F) 5.9
Record low °C (°F) −3.2
Average precipitation mm (inches) 71
Average precipitation days (≥ 1 mm) 7 6 4 6 4 1 0 0 2 6 6 8 52
Average relative humidity (%) 77 74 68 65 62 57 51 55 61 69 73 78 66
Mean monthly sunshine hours 165 171 229 255 296 341 367 340 268 211 176 151 2,970
Source: Agencia Estatal de Meteorología[11]

Christopher Columbus

Among the attractions to visit in this province are the Columbus sites. These sites include the city of Huelva, Moguer, Palos de la Frontera, and the Rábida Monastery. 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 Seville with Ferdinand and Isabella.


The most well-known artists in Huelva have been: the poet and winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature Juan Ramón Jiménez, the sculptor Antonio León Ortega, the writer Nicolas Tenorio Cerero and the painter Daniel Vázquez Díaz.
Other outstanding artists from Huelva include the painters 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. Miguel Biez, called el Litri, is perhaps the town's most famous artist; he was gored in a bullfight in 1929.[6]


Pinta, Niña and Santa María ship docked in the "Muelle de Carabelas" in Palos de la Frontera, Huelva
  • Carnaval, fiesta
  • Festival de Cine Iberoamericano de Huelva
  • 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 Romeria pilgrimage, every seventh August, a statue of the Virgin of el Rocio travels at night from El Rocio to Almonte.[12]


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

International relations

Twin towns – Sister cities

Huelva is twinned with:

See also


  1. ^ Antonine Itinerary, p. 431
  2. ^ Greek: Ὄνοβα Αἰστουάρια, 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.
  5. ^ British Museum Collection
  6. ^ a b c d Ben Macintyre, Operation Mincemeat; How a Dead Man and a Bizarre Plan Fooled the Nazis and Assured an Allied Victory, Harmony Books, Chapter 8
  7. ^ David Avery, Not on Queen Victoria's Birthday: The Story of the Rio Tinto Mines, Collins, London, 1974. p. 207; 6, pp. 83 ff.
  8. ^ Joan Martinez-Alier, Mining conflicts, environmental justice, and valuation, in Journal of Hazardous Materials 86 (2001) 153–170
  9. ^ Gladwell, Malcolm, Pandora's Briefcase, The New Yorker, May 10, 2010, reprised 2015.07.26 by Henry Finder in a New Yorker newsletter
  10. ^ "Operation Mincemeat". The National Archives. February 1993. 
  11. ^ "Guía resumida del clima en España (1981-2010)". 
  12. ^ The Daily Dish, by Andrew Sullivan, retrieved on 20 August 2012
  13. ^ "Geminações de Cidades e Vilas". Associação Nacional de Municípios Portugueses (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2013-07-20. 


External links

  • Información sobre la Sierra de Aracena
  • Huelva - Sistema de Información Multiterritorial de Andalucía
  • City of Huelva Andalucia Destination
  • Huelva municipal government Official Website (Spanish)
  • A Travel Guide to Huelva (English)
  • City of Huelva Andalucia Destination
  • Huelva Hoy Daily Events in Spanish
  • Huelva Cultura in Spanish
  • Port Authority of Huelva Official web page with information about the port, its history and technical characteristics.
  • Maps
    • "Maps of Huelva". 30 May 2007. 
    • Antonio Delgado (21 October 2006). " ::: Ayuntamiento de Huelva (España)". Archived from the original on 21 October 2006. 
  • Guía de autores onubenses (Local writers) Juan David Ayllón Burguillo (Spanish)
  • Santa Bárbara de casa Huelva
  • Adrian Fletcher's Paradoxplace – Convento de la Rábida Photo and History page
  • Doñana Natural Park (Spanish)
  • Sierra de Aracena Natural Park (Spanish)
  • Spain Guides A Travel Guide to Huelva
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