Plaza de las Monjas
By Saskia Mier
Plaza de las Monjas can be described as the main square in the city of Huelva. Its origin is to be found during the foundation of the Convento de las Madres Agustinas; hence the name 'monjas' meaning 'nuns'. The convent was built in early sixteenth century, therefore suggesting the square was created in front of the convent's entrance during the first years of this century.
Over the years it has had many names; Plaza de Abajo in the fifteenth century, Plaza Nueva in the sixteenth century, Plaza de San Juan from the seventeenth century, and Plaza de las Monjas in 1805, Plaza del Rey in 1823, Plaza de Isabel II in 1835, Plaza de la Constitución and again Plaza de las Monjas in 1936.
It was not until 1907 when the municipal architect, Francisco Monís y Morales, was commissioned to remodel the square as a public space. The fountain known as Fuente Magna was created in 1942 as a symbol of a time of continuous changes, especially with the growth of the city. In the following years the fountain was dismantled by the 1967 project of, Alejandro Herrero, as well as the band stand.
In 1988, elements such as the fountain were recovered thanks to the project of, Alfonso Martínez Chacón, and the square was reformed again in 2006, adding the Monumento a Colón in 2011.
Today it is equipped with a main band stand, four kiosks on the sides for press, restoration and information point, another smaller kiosk for maintenance, a small fountain flanked by the Columbus monument pointing towards the ocean and eight forge lanterns. It is surrounded by the Convento de las Madres Agustinas, Ayuntamiento, previous Banco de España and Edificio París Hotel. On hot summer nights, the square is the main meeting place for friends.