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Huelva City - Fact 1

The Barrio de Reina Victoria, otherwise known as the Barrio Obrero © Michelle Chaplow
The Barrio de Reina Victoria, otherwise known as the "Barrio Obrero"


The British engineers and miners who worked in the Rio Tinto copper mines in the 19th and 20th centuries wanted to make themselves a home-from-home. So they built English-style houses complete with front gardens, right in the middle of Huelva. The Victorian Barrio Obrero, also known as the Barrio Reina Victoria, which dates from 1916, is a microcosm of suburban England in Andalucia. Based on the concept of a garden city, it has avenues of mock-Tudor semis, with lawns, hedges and rose gardens.

The British also built Casa Colon (Huelva's first luxury hotel, now used for exhibitions), the Grand Theatre, and the railway station. But the most visually striking legacy sits on the river Odiel's estuary: the kilometre-long curved iron pier, Muelle de Rio Tinto, built in the 1870s to load the mines' wealth onto ships from all around the world.