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HUELVA "Columbus remains"

The first impression when entering the city of Huelva is its huge modern port and the industrial areas alongside it. Indeed, this industry and the mines close to the city are of essential economical importance. The surrounding Costa de la Luz however has many attractions to offer.

Next to Huelva, we may visit the famous Doñana National Park and the "Odiel Marshes", Foto which are behind Doñana the second most important wetland reserve in Andalusia, home of valuable bird colonies. North of the city are the mountains of Sierra de Aracena and Picos de Aroche Fotowhere we find huge forests with a wealth of fauna. Among the major attractions in this area are the village of Jabugo, Foto famous for its excellent Iberian cured ham and the Gruta de la Maravillas ("Marvellous Caves") in the town of Aracena. In those beautiful caves Foto we can see extraordinary formations of stalactites and stalagmites and a lake.

Close to Huelva we can visit as well one the major prehistoric findings of all Western Europe: a 5000 year-old town with hundreds of houses, silos, tombs and 29 dolmens. This, along with other findings of later times, shows that this settlement has been continually inhabited from then until today.

Huelva was also the center of the culture of Tartessos. In the lower part of the town, outside the walls of an existing Tartesso city which was located in the uper part, there was a Phoenician town called Onoba, which was founded 1000 b. Chr.

The Museum of Huelva exposes many interesting items which prove the long history of civilzations in the area.

Another interesting landmark to visit is the "Ruta Colombina" (Route of Columbus). Just a few kilometers from Huelva there is the Monastery of La Rabida, Foto where Columbus spent the last time before leaving for America, and the port of Palos de la Frontera, where his travel was actually started.

Further sights in Huelva include:

The Church of San Pedro, Foto the oldest of the city, built in Moorish style during fifteenth century and restored in the sixteenth century in Baroque style. It is situated atop of the remains of an Arab Mosque and at the foot of the former Castle of Huelva.

The Santuario de Nuestra Señora de la Cinta, Foto is a 15th century church in Gothic-Mudejar style, where Columbus prayed on his return from America. It is located on El Conquero mountain, from where you can enjoy wonderful views over the city.

The Cathedral of La Merced, Foto is a Baroque church belonging to the former monastery "Convento de la Merced", a building that today houses the university.

The church Iglesia de la Concepcion Foto is another fine example of sixteenth century architecture and is located at the central and lively square Plaza de la Concepción.

The Plaza de las Monjas ("Square of the Nuns) Foto forms the very heart of Huelva, here we find the town hall, the Convento de las Agustinas, a small convent in Mudejar style, the former Bank of Spain and the former Hotel Paris, an emblematic building which today is the seat of the provincial government.

The district Barrio Reina Victoria Foto was built in 19th century by the British "Rio Tinto Mine Company" in typical Anglo-Saxon style. These buildings originally served as homes for their employees.

The monument Monumento a la Fe Descubridora Foto is a 37 meters high cubist sculpture located at the mouth of the rivers "Rio Tinto" und "Odiel". It represents a franciscan monk of the Monastery of La Rabida and is dedicated to the sailors of Columbus and all those who believed in his project.

The Institute La Rabida is a modernist building from the early twentieth century and is today the home of the Iberoamerican University.

One more recent attraction is the beach Playa del Espigon, Foto a virgin beach of fine, golden sands. It is located next to the Odiel Marshes Foto and it is the only beach in the municipality. It has been formed following the construction of the Breakwater Dock Juan Carlos I of in the 1980s.

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