To visit the region of Huelva permits you to make an authentic reconstruction of the preparations, departure and return of the journey of Columbus.
The estuary of the Rivers Tinto and Odiel was an extensive natural port with a great nautic activity. The population of Palos de la Frontera, Moguer and Huelva was dedicated to the sea and was undertaking risky journeys of exploration and colonization. Noblemen, merchants, religious people, seamen and soldiers participated in these adventures. Today, its castles, convents and houses are making echo of its brilliant past.
In terms of Palos de la Frontera, the La Rábida Monastry (15th – 18th Century) is an emblem for the andalusian buildings related to the Americas. It is here, where the discovery was organised. An old moslem Ribat (defensive fortress), it converted into a franciscan convent and an active scientific, cosmographic and nautical center, offering its hospitality to the pilgrims, like Christopher Columbus, which knocked on their door. It was here were he found his first protector in Spain, after having failed in the Portuguese Parliament.
The spring of Carabelas reproduces the ships that Christopher Columbus, Pinzon of Palos, and the rest of the expedition undertaken the journey of discovery of America.
In the village of Palos you can reconstruct the scenery of Columbus´ journey. In the San Jorge Church (15th Century), constructed by the landlords in a gothic and moslem style, the crews of the ships were called together. In the nearby Fontanilla, an example of the moslem brick architecture, they were supplied with water for the journey from the protection of the castle, which dominates the port of Palos de la Frontera. Among the urban country houses you distinguish the house of the Pinzón family, legends of the sailor experts who supported Columbus in his first journey.
The monastry of Santa Clara of Moguer (14th – 16th Century), was the aim of a special devotion of Columbus. Its style and proportions can be seen repeatedly in the American colonial architecture. Its cloisters, alabaster sepulchres of the church, the tiles and paintings and the Religious Art Museum are outstanding. The convent of San Francisco (14th to 18th Century), the rest of the castle and the houses in the historic centre of Moguer, as the mansion of the Admiral Yañez Pinzón (18th Century), make the vision of this village intimately complete, tied to the first European journeys to the Americas. In Lucena del Puerto, the Monastry de la Luz (14th to 16th Century), old Franciscan Convent, synthesizes the vital and architectonic forms of the Discovery Times.
In Huelva the Cinta Sanctuary (15th Century), reminds us of the most difficult times of Columbus´ crossing, which commends in its failure to the Virgin of this chapel.
Itinerary: La Rábida - Palos de la Frontera - Moguer - Lucena del Puerto - Huelva.