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Huelva City

HUELVA CITY (the ancient Onuba, Onoba, or Onuba Aestuaria), the capital of the Spanish province of Huelva, about 10 m. from the Atlantic Ocean, on the left bank of the river Odiel, and on the Seville-Huelva, Merida-Huelva and Rio TintoHuelva railways, the last-named being a narrow-gauge line. Pop. (1900) 21,357. Huelva is built on the western shore of a triangular peninsula formed by the estuaries of the Odiel and Tinto, which meet below the town. It is wholly modern in character and appearance, and owes its prosperity to an everincreasing transit trade in copper and other ores, for which it is the port of shipment. After 1872, when the famous Rio Tinto copper mines were for the first time properly exploited, it progressed rapidly in size and wealth. Dredging operations removed a great part of the sandbanks lining the navigable main channel of the Odiel, and deepened the water over the bar at its mouth; new railways were opened, and port works were undertaken on a large scale, including the construction of extensive quays and two piers, and the installation of modern appliances for handling cargo. Many of these improvements were added after 1900. Besides exporting copper, manganese and other minerals, which in 1903 reached 2,750,000 tons, valued at more than 1,500,000, Huelva is the headquarters of profitable sardine, tunny and bonito fisheries, and of a trade in grain, grapes, olives and cork. The copper and cork industries are mainly in British hands, and the bulk of the imports, which consist chiefly of coal, iron and steel and machinery, comes from Great Britain. Foodstuffs and Australian hardwood are also imported.

Huelva was originally a Carthaginian trading-station, and afterwards a Roman colony; but it retains few memorials of its past, except the Roman aqueduct, repaired in modern times, and the colossal statue of Columbus. This was erected in 1892 to commemorate the fourth centenary of his voyage to the new world in 1492-1493, which began and ended in the village of San Palos de la Frontera on the Tinto. Columbus resided in the neighbouring monastery of Santa Maria la Rabida after his original plans for the voyage had been rejected by King John II. of Portugal in 1484. An exact reproduction of this monastery was erected in 1893 at the World's Fair, Chicago, U.S.A., and was afterwards converted into a sanatorium. Higher up the Tinto, above San Palos, is the town of Moguer (pop. 8455), which exports large quantities of oil and wine.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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