Gateway to the Atlantic
Portray of the Destination
Huelva’s attraction resides in the diversity of characteristics it encompasses: its administrative center and conference facilities and its peculiar British mining heritage, the legacy of Columbus in “la Rabida” (Palos de la Frontera) and the Columbine Sites and the memories of the poems of the Nobel Price Juan Ramon Jimenez in the corners of his birthplace, Moguer. It is a Tartessian city which traces can be seen at the Provincial Museum, Phoenician in the remains of the San Pedro Walls, Roman in the ruins of the old salting factories and Islamic in the Hispanic-Moorish city of Saltes. It is a discoverer city looking at the Columbus monument by Gertude Vanderbilt Whitney, British in the mining wharf of the Riotinto Company. Huelva is, for the visitor, a friendly city that maintains the charm of a small town.
Located on a peninsula flanked by the rivers Tinto and Odiel, it is an important center of cultural activities and a renowned congress and conventions site. The Casa Colón Conference Hall, venue of the Spanish -Latin American Film Festival is, during the rest of the year the seat of many different conference activities. Carnival, Holy Week, “Romeria del Rocio”, Columbine Festivities in August and the festivities of the “Cinta”, fill with merriment the bustling streets of the city centre and of the “Isla Chica” district. Large shopping centers and leisure time facilities coexist with a British legacy in the buildings of the Reina Victoria district (1916) or the Casa Colón (Columbus House) (1883).
When tourists visiting Huelva are asked what attracts them most in the city, one of the features mentioned more often is the brightness. Besides the many attractions the city has to offer, the sunshine gives the possibility to live outdoors, deeply enjoy its privileged natural environment and its endless beaches, savour the pleasure of a quiet and peaceful life with the vital optimism of a place that generates health and happiness.
We would like to thank the Huelva City Council for the information and photographs provided.
Taking into account the fact that tourism is of great importance for Spain, the security of travelers is a real priority in the country. In Huelva, diverse services are entrusted by the local authorities to keep public order and help in emergencies. LOCAL POLICE: 092. Nevertheless, the general advice offered to tourists traveling everywhere, should be considered. Thus we recommend carrying only the necessary money for each outing and not all your funds, as well as being extra careful in crowded places to avoid being robbed of your property.
Health Care Services
Health care centers in Huelva, as in the rest of Spain, offer permanent health assistance to all the population in the area. Medical services ensure direct and convenient attention to everyone requiring it.
The most important clinics and hospitals are:
AREA HOSPITALARIA JUAN RAMÓN JIMENEZ, Ronda Norte, s/n. Telephone: +34 959 016 000.
POLICLÍNICA SAN PEDRO, Pza de San Pedro, 6. Telephone: +34 959 242 100.
CLÍNICA LOS NARANJOS, Pº de los Naranjos, 1. Telephone: +34 959 243 900.
HOSPITAL INFANTA ELENA, Ctra. Sevilla-Huelva, s/n. Telephone: +34 959 015 100.
BLANCA PALOMA HOSPITAL, Diego de Morón, 3. Telephone: +34 959 012 100.
There is a large fleet of urban buses to move around Huelva. Nine bus services converge in the city centre, one of them in the area of Zafra and next to the bus station, and others in the Plaza de las Monjas, right in the middle of the town.
Taxis are also available in the city, with the following telephone numbers:
Teletaxis: +34 959 250 022 / 959 261 313
Servitaxi: +34 959 251 500 / 251 600.
In order to rent a car you have to be over 23 and a driver license since at least one year ago. For special or compact vehicles some agencies require to be 25 or over. All companies demand payment in advance and a deposit. Major credit cards are accepted: VISA, Master Card, American Express, etc.
The main offices are:
ATESA: Av. Italia., s/n Tel. +34 959 281 712.
UTO ALQUILER HUELVA, S.L.: C/ Doctor Rubio, s/n Tel. +34 959 283 138.
AUTOS MERCEDES: Luis Braille, 1 Tel. +34 959 257 294.
AVIS RENT A CAR: Av. Italia., 107 Tel. +34 959 283 836.
NATIONAL ATESA: Ctra. Sevilla, km 637 Tel. +34 959 232 550.
CLEAN HUELVA, S.L.: Ronda Exterior Norte, s/n Tel. +34 959 226 078.
EUROPCAR: Av. Italia., s/n Tel. +34 959 285 335.
HERTZ: Av. Italia., 77 Tel. +34 959 260 460.
The Spanish phone code is 34 and the Huelva code is 959. To make a phone call to another country you must first dial 00 and then the international code of the country you would like to call to and finally dial the subscriber phone number. For phone calls within Spain a special code is not required.
The most important mobile phone operators are Amena – www.amena.com-, Movistar/Telefónica Móviles -www.movistar.tsm.es- and Vodafone-www.vodafone.es-. Telephone booths are very common along the streets and they work with coins or phone cards. There are also the called locutorios, they are establishments with many phone booths, where coins or cards are not needed, just pay in cash the phone call after the conversation. In many of this kind of places it is also possible to send and receive faxes and there are computers with internet connection as well.
220 V, 50 Hz. Sockets are usually for two round pin plugs.
YES: si. NO: no. HELLO: hola. GOOD BYE: adios. GOOD MORNING: buenos días. GOOD AFTERNOON: buenas tardes. GOOD NIGHT: buenas noches. PLEASE: por favor. SORRY: lo siento. THANK YOU: gracias. DOCTOR: médico. PHARMACY: farmacia. NUMBERS: 1: un. 2: dos. 3: tres. 4: cuatro. 5: cinco. 6: seis. 7: siete. 8: ocho. 9: nueve. 10: diez. 11: once. 12: doce. 13: trece. 14: catorce. 15: quince. 16: dieciséis. 17: diecisiete. 18: dieciocho. 19: diecinueve. 20: veinte. 21: veintiuno. 22: veintidós. 30: treinta. 40: cuarenta. 50: cincuenta. 60: sesenta. 70: setenta. 80: ochenta. 90: noventa. 100: cien. 1000: mil. DAYS OF THE WEEK: MONDAY: lunes. TUESDAY: martes. WEDNESDAY: miércoles. THURSDAY: jueves. FRIDAY: viernes. SATURDAY: sábado. SUNDAY: domingo. COMMON WORDS: BIG/SMALL: grande/pequeño. HOT/COLD: caliente/frío. OPEN/CLOSED: abierto/cerrado. GOOD/BAD: bueno/malo. NEW/OLD: nuevo/viejo. PUSH/PULL: empujar/tirar. ENTRANCE/EXIT: entrada/salida. LADIES/GENTLEMEN: señoras/señores. FAR/NEAR: lejos/cerca. LEFT/RIGHT: izquierda/derecha. TAXI: taxi. BUS: autobús. MEALS: BREAKFAST: desayuno. LUNCH: comida. DINNER: cena. MENU: menú. WINES: vinos. DESSERT: postre. THE BILL: la cuenta. COMMON SENTENCES: DO YOU SPEAK ENGLISH?: ¿Habla inglés?. I DON'T UNDERSTAND: no entiendo. WHERE IS IT?: ¿donde está? HOW MUCH IS IT: ¿Cuánto es? WHAT TIME IS IT: ¿Qué hora es? COULD YOU HELP ME: ¿Puede ayudarme?
The touristic zones of the province of Huelva are located not far from the Faro airport. The capital of Algarve is only 50 Km away from Huelva’s provincial boundary (Ayamonte). At the same time, it is only 94 Km away from the capital of the autonomous region, Seville.
Seville Airport: Road N-IV, Km 532, Tel: +34 954 449 000. More information: www.aena.es.
The European Union tourists do not need visa to enter Spain. Neither those citizens of the United States, Argentina, Mexico, Brazil and the rest of the Latin American countries, though a return ticket must be bought. Travelers from Australia, Anguilla, Bermuda, Canada, Cyprus, South Korea, Hong Kong, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Israel, Japan, Macao, Malaysia, Montserrat, New Zealand, Saint Helena, Singapore and Turk & Caicos do not either need visa provided that they do not stay more than 90 days in Spain.
When to go
Considering the varied touristic agenda of Huelva, the recreational activities offered by its cultural and natural spaces, the unceasing festivities that constantly enliven the city, and that the weather is one of the most pleasant in Spain, this city is a destination worth visiting all year round.
With some microclimatic variations, the weather in Huelva is a transition between subtropical and warm (Mediterranean climate). The temperatures pattern is maritime, mild and pleasant, with gentle winters and summer temperature moderated by the breeze.
Clothing varies according to the season, place and circumstance. People in Spain do not dress very formally to work or to share leisure time with others; most of the time they wear comfortable, informal clothes. Considering the climatological characteristics of this city, it is recommended to wear comfortable thin clothing during the summer and some warm clothes during the winter.
The local currency is the Euro, divided into 100 cents. The banknotes are: 500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5 Euros. The coins are: 1 and 2 Euros and 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 cent.
1 Euro (EUR) = 1.20 Dollar (USD); 1 Euro (EUR) = 0.68 Sterling Pounds (GBP).
Useful phone numbers
- Police : 092
- Ambulance : 061 - 959 222 222
- Fire Brigade : 080 - 959 257 403
- Tourist health care services : 112 - 959 210 252
Gateway to the Atlantic
Although always faithful to its seafaring vocation, the beginning of the exploitation of the Rio Tinto Mines by the English “Rio Tinto Company Limited” in the 19th century marked the starting point of its transformation into one of the most important industrial centers of southern Spain. We can visit natural beauty spots (Marismas del Odiel), archeological sites like the “Cabezo de San Pedro”, religious buildings like the cathedral or different churches such as San Pedro´s, majestic monuments like that of Columbus.
It is an area of special natural interest due to the beauty spots that surround it, it is also the Andalusian city eminently involved in the Discovery of America; it was in the nearby Monastery of the Rabida that the Columbine feat took shape; it was from Palos de la Frontera that the caravels set sail, manned by citizens of Huelva, and for many years the Port of Huelva, nowadays an important place in the so called “route of the shellfish”, monopolized trade with the Indies.
The splendour of the bourgeoisie in the 19th century is also reflected in the historic city centre, where emblematic buildings such as the Great Theatre, with its façade of great columns, were built. Also from this period is the impressive Casa Colón (Columbus House), which used to be a hotel and now houses diverse offices; it is there where, at the end of the summer, one of the most important cultural events in Huelva takes place since 1975: the “Festival de Cine Iberoamericano de Huelva” (Spanish-Latin American Film Festival) in mid November.
We would like to thank the Huelva City Council for the information and photographs provided.
Casa Colón (Columbus House)
Inaugurated in 1883 as “Gran Hotel Colon”, it is a luxurious hotel where the events of the 4th Centennial of the Discovery of America were celebrated. The building consists of four individual sections of different architectonic styles, around a central courtyard with elegant gardens and a fountain. It is the site of the major Spanish-Latin American Film Festival; it houses the Conference Hall, Exhibition Halls, Municipal archives and different council offices.
Nuestra Señora de la Merced Cathedral
Located on the Plaza de la Merced, it is part of the convent of the order of “La Merced” founded in 1605 by the Duke of Medina Sidonia. Its construction ended in 1612.
The church, rebuilt after an earthquake according to the design of Pedro de Silva, is a colonial style building distributed in three naves, with an outstanding elegant facade. With the creation of the diocese of Huelva in 1954, it was chosen as the Cathedral. The convent, after its disentailment, has been used for different activities: Provincial Hospital, Diputación Provincial (Provincial Council) and Instituto General Técnico. Nowadays it houses one of the faculties of the University of Huelva.
“Humilladero de la Cinta”
A shoemaker walking towards Gibraleon had a strong headache and, praying to the Virgin, he tied a ribbon around his head and was healed. Thus, he decided to build there a chapel which was known as “Humilladero”. Some centuries later the Moors destroyed the chapel. In the year 1400, a young shepherd fleeing from a bull sank in that same place and an image of the Virgin appeared before him. It was then that the present building was erected.
Obviously this is what the legend says.
Actually, the building is from the late Moorish period, and it was probably built not long before Huelva fell in the hands of Alfonso X the Learned. The small chapel had once a door on each side with horseshoe arches, but they disappeared during the restoration made in 1921. Before this, it may have suffered other alterations. It is possible that it originally belonged to some Arab hermit.
Monument to Columbus
Two Km away from the city centre, overlooking the confluence of the Rio Tinto and Odiel rivers, is one of the most colossal monuments dedicated to the Discovery of America. In 1929 the American sculptress Gertrude V. Whitney crafted a monumental figure representing Columbus according to the cubist style.
The Riotinto Company Docks
The minerals extracted from the Riotinto mines, brought by train, were shipped from these docks. They were inaugurated in 1876 , designed by the English engineer George Barclay Bruce. It is a sample of functionality, designed according to the Eiffel Tower. It became an integral part of the port, and is now a pleasant promenade by the river mouth.
Mora Claros Palace
The owner of this palace was Don Antonio Mora y Claros. On April 1st 1920 he was elected mayor of Huelva, and all the decisions affecting Huelva were discussed in this palace. The architects were Moises Serrano and Perez Carasa. The palace is from the end of the 19th century.
The building is historicist and one of the most elegant in the area belonging to this period, mainly its exterior, since in the interior we find combinations of other styles, including modernism. The turret that tops the facade has Mansard roofs, typical of French architecture of the Second Empire; here we observe pillars, frontispieces and ornaments of classicist tradition.
In the interior we can appreciate the decoration with elements of both modernist inspiration and classicist style, mainly in the railings (iron with copper flowers) and large windows.
The pillars and the ceilings decorated with corbels at the entrance of the house are ornamented with cherubs. The tiles retain the Andalusian tradition of the beginning of the 20th century, featuring plants and animals (mainly birds). Donated by the owner to the city, and recycled in 1997, it is now a residential home for the elderly.
Major Parish of San Pedro
Located on the Plaza de San Pedro, it was built on the site of an old Mudejar mosque. It is the oldest religious building in the city. The style is Gothic-Mudejar, and it was probably built between the 15th and 16th centuries.
It is a typical Sevillian Mudejar temple: three naves separated by an arcade and a polygonal apse. The building was slightly remodelled in the 17th century, but massive remodellation was necessary in the 18th century due to the 1755 earthquake.
Plaza de las Monjas
The origin of this square dates back to the establishment of the convent of the Augustian Nuns, therefore its name (“monjas” means nuns). As the convent was built at the beginning of the 16th century, we can suppose that the square took shape in front of the convent during the first years of that century. The other building that contributes to the identity of this central square is the Palace of the Dukes of Medina Sidonia, built in 1656-1657.
For many years this was the district meeting place during the hot summer evenings of Huelva. For this reason it was specially taken into account in the planning of the urban reforms at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. The great remodelling project, led by Architect Francisco Monis y Morales, enlarged the square in 1907 at the expense of the palace’s stables, renewed the pavement and added gardens and trees.
After the civil war, part of the convent was demolished to allow a connection with the Plaza de San Francisco (Gran Via). Later, in 1964, other changes took place to allow traffic circulation, designed by architects Alejandro Herrero and Ricardo Anadon, which greatly altered the shape of the square.
Sanctuary of “Nuestra Senora de la Cinta”
Located in the “El Conquero” area, at the end of the Avenida Manuel Siurot, it is the building that shelters the patron saint of Huelva, Virgin of La Cinta.
Built in the 15th century, it features Mudejar style, it has three brick naves, the middle one still exhibiting the horseshoe arches typical of its Mudejar origins. There is a mural painting depicting the Virgin of La Cinta. The place was visited by Christopher Columbus following a promise made to the Virgin during critical moments of his journey; his visit is depicted in the blue-and-white tiled illustrations, designed by artist Daniel Zuloaga in 1920.
Cabezo del Conquero
It is a high area on which are based the fishing districts: El Carmen, Las Colonias and La Orden districts. It is one of the most outstanding places and it is on the way to the sanctuary of the Virgin of La Cinta, patron saint of the city. On the top of the hill, we can discover the viewpoint of El Conquero, which offers wonderful views of the Marismas de Odiel, the city and its surrounding areas.