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Curiosities about Huelva

Huelva, a province with a singular Andalusian character, can boast of a rich history and lots of curious facts. The leading role Huelva played in Christopher Columbus’s discovery of America and the province’s natural wealth are part of the local essence, which has been shaped by the Tartessians, the Phoenicians, the Romans and the Arabs.

History of Huelva and curious facts:

  • Port of Columbus: Huelva is closely linked to one of the major landmarks of world history, since the port of Palos de la Frontera witnessed Christopher Columbus’s depart towards the New World. Columbus lived in the monastery of La Rábida, one of Huelva’s landmarks.
  • Tobacco and Europe: The first European ever to smoke tobacco was Rodrigo de Xerez, a sailor from Ayamonte, who was ordered by Columbus to see what the natives of the island of Cuba were smoking. The sailor brought tobacco to Spain but people were frightened by the smoke and smoking was considered to be a ‘sinful and infernal habit’.
  • A Martian river: The province of Huelva is crossed by a river with peculiar characteristics such as red colour and high iron concentration. The river’s water crossed the Atlantic Ocean when samples were taken to the USA to be analysed by the NASA.
  • Bird watching area: The large wetlands and marshlands of Huelva – in Odiel or Isla Cristina – are great places for bird watching. The populations of flamingos and common spoonbills are among the largest in Europe.
  • Fandango: Huelva has always kept its peculiar character within Andalusia. One of its singular, long-lasting traditions is fandango, a type of song believed by experts to be older than flamenco, a genre that Seville exported to the world. There is even a fandango route that takes visitors from village to village across the province.
  • Mining tradition: In the city of Huelva, lying in a land of mineral and other natural resources, mining has been a major part of local economy. The importance of mining can be seen in the name of the Reina Victoria neighbourhood, so called as a tribute to the Queen of England, because the company that developed it was based in England.
  • Birthplace of Juan Ramón Jiménez: The author of Platero y yo, one of the Spanish writers who gained international recognition and winner of the Nobel Prize in 1956, was born in Moguer, a very well-known town in Huelva.


  • Country: Spain
  • Time zone:
  • Change: Euro
  • Electricity/AC voltage: 220 V
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