Question: Provide an overview of the history of Huelva.
A maritime province of south-western Spain, formed in 1833 of districts taken from Andalusia, and bounded on the N. by Badajoz, E. by Seville, S. by the Gulf of Cadiz and W. by Portugal. Pop. 260,880; area 3913 sq. m. With the exception of its south-eastern angle, where the province merges into the flat waste lands known as Las Marismas, at the mouth of the Guadalquivir, Huelva presents throughout its entire extent an agreeably varied surface. It is traversed in a south-westerly direction by the Sierra Morena, here known, in its main ridge, as the Sierra de Aracena. The principal streams are the navigable lower reaches of the Guadalquivir and Guadiana, which respectively form for some distance the south-eastern and south-western boundaries; the Odiel and the Tinto, which both fall into the Atlantic by navigable "rias" or estuaries; the Malagon, Chanza, Alcalaboza and Murtiga, which belong to the Guadiana system; and the Huelva, belonging to that of the Guadalquivir. Huelva has a mild and equable climate, with abundant moisture and a fertile soil. Among the mountains there are many valuable woodlands, in which oaks, pines, beeches, cork-trees and chestnuts predominate, while the lowlands afford excellent pasturage. But agriculture and stock-breeding are here less important than in most Spanish provinces, although the exports comprise large quantities of fruit, oil and wine, besides cork and esparto grass. The headquarters of the fishing trades, which include the drying and salting of fish, are at Huelva, the capital, and Ayamonte on the Guadiana. There are numerous brandy distilleries; and bricks, pottery, soap, candles and flour are also manufactured; but the great local industry is mining. In 1903 no fewer than 470 mines were at work; and their output, consisting chiefly of copper with smaller quantities of manganese and iron, exceeded £1,500,000 in value. The celebrated Rio Tinto copper mines, near the sources of the Tinto, were, like those of Tharsis, 30 m. N.N.W. of Huelva, exploited long before the Christian era, probably by the Carthaginians, and certainly by the Romans. They are still among the most important copper mines in the world. Saline and other mineral springs are common throughout the province. Huelva is the principal seaport, and is connected with Seville on the east and Mérida on the north by direct railways; while a network of narrow-gauge railways gives access to the chief mining centers. The principal towns, besides Huelva and Rio Tinto, which are described in separate articles, are Alosno, Ayamonte, Bollullos, Moguer, Nerva and Zalamea la Real. The state and municipal roads are better engineered and maintained than those of the neighboring provinces.
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