Departure – where the adventure began.
An dilapidated rail bridge marks the passage to the sea of the bounty that brought sea-farers and adventurers from all over the ancient world to this place. Huelva’s riches have attracted legions of people.The mines to the north of the city, rich in iron, gold, silver and massive sulphides, have been a source of riches since time immemorial with the Phoenicians and the Romans using the wealth dug from the ground to finance empire.
And, in the 15th century, Huelva became the focus of the world as it was from here that Christopher Columbus started on his epic journey into the heart of history. His voyage of exploration started from the monastery of La Rabida and its austere rooms and ancient furniture can still be seen by visitors from another time.
Today, the sun and beaches along the coast attract a different sort of thrill seeker but the city itself is filled with charming corners and some of the world’s greates tapa bars that are kept stocked by rich seafood from the depths of the Mediterranean and Atlantic oceans.
Huelva’s history is long starting when ancient mariners holed up on this coast and carved out a niche from the wilderness, using the natural harbours as a loading port for the metals and goods that became the backbone of wealthy trading nations. Today, the wilderness has all but disappeared and mos of the mariners too.
But fishing and discovery have always played an intimate role in the evolution of the city and, with its rich sea-food and pride as being the launch pad for Christopher Columbus, its roots are obvious.
Perhaps though, when looking at the features of the enormous stone memorial dedicated to that fearless explorer who sailed into the distance without really knowing where he would end up, an air or regret can be detected as the spirit of the long-dead explorer, whose accomplishments went unrewarded during his lifetime, looks, almost longingly, towards the far horizon.
Huelva is one of Spain’s most ancient sities and, as well as being the launchpad of Christopher Columbus to the new world, boasts being the place where the first organised football team of Spain was founded. A city with a great heritage and a great place to visit.