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   The city of Huelva is located on the southwestern coast of Spain,  known as Costa de la Luz because of the quality of the light in this  area. The city lies on a large estuary between the rivers Tinto and  Odiel.    Its origins can be traced back to prehistoric times, when the first  settlers in the Bronze Age were drawn to the area by the minerals in  the area that is now the site of the Río Tinto mines. In the 7th century BC Phoenician and Greek merchants established a trading settlement  and port in Huelva and exported the minerals they found throughout  the Mediterranean. Huelva continued to be used as an important port  for exporting minerals, mainly copper and silver extracted from the  Río Tinto mines, under the Roman and Arab times. By the 15th century, Huelva was established as a significant port, but it was not until 1492 when Christopher Columbus discovered the New World that it gained in status. Columbus used local  sailors for his historic voyage and the increase in trade brought wealth to the whole region, although it was later  superseded by the ports of Seville and Cadiz.   During the 19th century Huelva underwent a massive transformation with the influx of foreign capital from mining  interests. The mining companies changed the architectural face of Huelva, building industrial structures like the wharfs in  the port used for unloading minerals, workshops and the railway. Culturally, Huelva underwent a revival and cultivated a  more cosmopolitan atmosphere with the arrival of mainly British and German workers. The legacy of late 19th-century  British architecture still standing today includes the Muelle de Ríotinto, the Estación de Sevilla, the Barrio Obrero and the  Casa Colón. Since the 1950s most of Huelva's wealth has come from its flourishing petrochemical industry.
University of Huelva 24th International SEDERI Conference