CEMENTERIO DE HUELVA: NUESTRA SEÑORA DE LA SOLEDAD
by Saskia Mier
The cemetery of Huelva was opened in 1928 and the project was initially designed by architect, Don Francisco Marín in 1907. The Royal Decree approved the conditions on 13 March 1903 and land was acquired from 1915 to 1918 by Doña Mercedes Verdier Clemente, Don Aurelio Baez Baez, Don Rafael Hernández Díaz and Doña Dolores Mazo Llamas, for 10, 256 pesetas in front of notaries, Don Juan Serrano and Don Dionisio Cádiz Laguna Angulo.
It has a semicircular shape occupying 103.682m², divided into six sectors and niches around the perimeter of the enclosure wall. The forecourt has plenty of parking and its main walkway is marked out by dependant buildings and two small gardens.
This cemetery holds a vital piece of history, being the body of a man who changed the course of the Second World War, however his identity remains unknown. The hoax by British Naval Intelligence, known as Operation Mincemeat was designed to cover up the invasion of Italy from North Africa.
The exact location of the grave is in the San Marco section of Nuestra Señora de la Soledad Cemetery in Huelva is 37°17'29.74" N and 006°55'46.63" W
The 'English cemetery' adjoins the main cemetery, It is a walled off section adjacent to the main cemetery with its own iron entrance gates facing the road. It belongs to the Spanish Episcopal Church and is in an abandoned state despite the agreement signed in 2015 between Huelva city council and the Church of the Anglican Communion to protect it and also to incorporate it into the 'English Legacy Trail.'
Volunteers were summoned and coordinated by archaeologists to clear and clean up the cemetery; one of the sites of British presence in Huelva during the nineteenth century. It has been suggested that the cemetery be made available as a tourist attraction considering its architecture is different than the Spanish Catholic cemeteries.
Restoration has focused on re-tiling, plastering and painting, as well as the removal of vegetation from the graves.
Additionally the Huelva town hall has decided to grant plots reserved for Islamic burials so that traditional Islamic rules can be better respected in burials and funeral rights performed by the local Islamic Community.
Location 37.291795, -6.931503
Opening hours of main Cemetry
Winter: Daily between 8am and 7pm
Summer: Daily between 8am and 8pm
H-30, Exit 8, Carretera HU-3101, Huelva