Huelva (Seville), Spain
Huelva on the Bay of Cadiz in Andalucia is close to a pair of attractions, one historical and one natural. The town f Palos de la Frontera is the place from which Christopher Columbus began his first voyage of discovery in 1492. In the town is the Church of Saint George where the crew and their families prayed before sailing. Nearby is the Santa Maria de La Rábida Monastery, where Columbus begged the Franciscan monks for assistance, and they directed him to the Pinzon brothers, who captained the Niña and the Pinta. Replicas of those two ships are located there. The natural wonder is the vast wetland reserve of Doñana National Park, on the estuary of the Guadalquivir River, a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for its abundant populations of wading- and water-birds. But for many visitors, the port is a gateway to the UNESCO-inscribed Moorish splendors of Seville, its spectacular Gothic cathedral and Giralda Tower, the sublime palace of the Alcázar and the newer, though still resplendent architectural confections of Maria Luisa Park. The riverside city is one of Spain’s most popular cities for visitors and residents alike, a handsome, eminently livable place to spend a day or a lifetime.