Friday, 2 May 2008

Huelva and its English Quarters

Situated at the estuaries of the rivers Odiel and Tinto, Huelva is now the fourth largest port in Spain and the capital of the province. Founded as Onuba by the Phoenicians, the town had its grandest days as a Roman port important in the trade of mineral products. However, the city has found its place in history as a vital element in the discovery of the New World and prospered in the early days of trade with the Americas.

One legacy of the area's mining activity is the curious "Barrio Reina Victoria", made up of typically English style houses built by the Río Tinto Company for its English workforce in the early 20th century. Many Britons came to Huelva to find wealth and a new life. With them they brought two main sporting passions - Golf and Football. The oldest football club in Spain is Recreativo de Huelva and the oldest Golf club is Bellavista in nearby Aljaraque.

In the North of the Province lie "Sierra de Aracena" and "Picos de Aroche". They make up a gently rugged landscape dotted with small villages. The slopes are covered with cork, oak, chestnut and wild olive trees and are cut by rushing streams and mountain roads.

The area was settled in ancient times by the Phoenicians and Romans who mined copper, silver and iron. The open faced mines of Riotinto are still one of the regions attractions. Corta Atalaya is one of the largest opencast mines in the world and from the viewpoint you can see the crater and marvel at the extent of years of excavation.

Situated in the village, the museum explains the history of the mines and of the Río Tinto Company. There is a 250 metre long reproduction of a Roman mine which you can walk round and witness first hand the ancient struggles to retrieve the earth's treasures. Also in the village is the unusual "Barrio de Bella Vista"where English style 19th century terraced houses were built for the English employees of the Río Tinto Company.

Source: Home from Holmes.

If you want more information on this topic, click on this link: ¡Qué de Arte! You will find an accurate comment on their history and their artistic value.

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