Photographer's Note

In Tartesia there was an important trade of precious metals such as gold, silver and copper from the mining basin of Huelva and that, through the Tinto river, ended at the Huelva estuary. That area became an exchange port with eastern Mediterranean (Phoenicians especially and Greeks). Centuries later, in Roman times, its importance during the reign of Octavio Augusto allowed it to connect with roads such as the Va de la Plata to Hispalis or Augusta Emerita. Importance that would continue in the Middle Ages, along with the nearby Salts Island, giving out products from all over the Kingdom of Fog.

But it was in the fifteenth century when this, and especially the nearby ports of Moguer and Palos de la Frontera, became a starting point for routes to the Azores, Canary Islands, the coasts of Africa and the Americas. In the following centuries the port moved further south while various factors stagnated the population of the area, since then and until the end of the nineteenth century it was consolidated as a fishing port rather than commerce.

There were two factors that at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century allowed its final takeoff as a key port in the Iberian Peninsula: on the one hand the fact that the provincial division of Toms Lpez in 1833 made Huelva the capital of the province of the same name and, on the other, the arrival in the mining basin of various English mining companies that needed an adequate sea port to give way to the huge amount of production in the north of the province.

Thus, the city and its port is progressively transformed, building important facilities such as the Riotinto mineral dock owned by the Rio Tinto Company Limited, the Tharsis Company Dock of the Tharsis Sulfur and Copper Company Limited or the Dock from Levante, which transformed the physiognomy of the ancient fishing port into a purely industrial one. Alongside these constructions that are still preserved, another series of facilities have already been lost.

At present, the port of Huelva is one of the Spanish ports with the greatest activity, competitiveness and growth, especially due to its strategic situation for trade with Africa; specifically it is the fifth nationwide and the second in Andalusia. It is divided into two sectors: the inner port (in the city) and the outer port (the main and provincial one).

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En poca tartesia exista un importante comercio de metales preciosos como oro, plata y cobre procedente de la cuenca minera de Huelva y que, a travs del ro Tinto, terminaba en la ra de Huelva. Esa zona se convirti en un puerto de intercambio con orientales del mediterrneo (fenicios sobre todo y griegos). Siglos despus, en poca romana, su importancia durante el reinado de Octavio Augusto permiti que se conectara con calzadas como la Va de la Plata hasta Hispalis o Augusta Emerita. Importancia que continuara en la Edad Media, junto con el cercano de Isla de Salts, dando salida a los productos de todo el Reino de Niebla.

Pero fue en el siglo XV cuando este, y sobre todo los cercanos puertos de Moguer y Palos de la Frontera, se convirtieron en punto de partida para las rutas a las Islas Azores, Canarias, las costas de frica y el continente americano. En los siglos siguientes el puerto se desplaz ms hacia el sur mientras que diversos factores estancaron la poblacin de la zona, desde entonces y hasta finales del siglo XIX se consolid como puerto pesquero ms que de comercio.

Dos fueron los factores que a finales del siglo XIX y principios del siglo XX permitieron su despegue final como puerto clave en la Pennsula Ibrica: por un lado el hecho de que la divisin provincial de Toms Lpez en 1833 convirtiera a Huelva en la capital de la provincia homnima y, por otro, la llegada a la cuenca minera de diversas empresas mineras inglesas que necesitaban un puerto de mar adecuado para dar salida a la ingente cantidad de produccin del norte de la provincia.

As, la ciudad y su puerto se transforma progresivamente, construyndose instalaciones tan importantes como el Muelle de mineral de la compaa Riotinto propiedad de la Rio Tinto Company Limited, el Muelle de la Compaa de Tharsis de la Tharsis Sulphur and Copper Company Limited o el Muelle de Levante, que transformaron la fisonoma del vetusto puerto pesquero en uno netamente industrial. Junto a estas construcciones que an se conservan se construyeron otra serie de instalaciones ya perdidas.

En la actualidad el puerto de Huelva se sita como uno de los puertos espaoles de mayor actividad, competitividad y crecimiento sobre todo por su situacin estratgica para el comercio con frica; concretamente es el quinto a nivel nacional y el segundo de Andaluca. Se divide en dos sectores: el puerto interior (en la ciudad) y el puerto exterior (el principal y de carcter provincial).

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Additional Photos by Luis Garcia (adramad) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 8157 W: 5 N: 14556] (64670)
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