This is so unusual that it is hard to explain. It is not so beautiful or so exciting that you can’t miss it, but if you go to see it, you spend time scratching your head in wonder at the British mindset of the 1800s. They just tried to reinvent Britain in Huelva so the mine workers could live properly. I’m sure it didn’t help integration but its still an interesting tourist attraction 150 years on.
The barrio de Reina Victoria, otherwise known as the Barrio Obrero which means Workers District is a testament to its name an example of a Victorian English town superimposed onto an Andalucian landscape. Situated at the eastern end of Alameda Sundheim, a short walk from the centre, it’s worth a visit for its peculiar mix of Victorian colonial architecture and bright colours that the current occupiers have used on their dormer windows and front doors.
The rio Tinto Company started building in 1916 to house its British workers and, like the Barrio Bellavista in Río Tinto, it seems like a colonial outpost of the British Empire. The British architect RH Morgan, who helped design the area, was famous for creating buildings in his country’s colonial architectural style. The two other architects working on the project were from Huelva, and the houses retain some Spanish touches, like the whitewashed walls
This area has houses and bungalows laid out on a rectilinear grid of streets, unimaginatively named after letters of the alphabet, and a distinctively British atmosphere. The current inhabitants are the descendants of the mining company employees. In 2002 the Barrio was declared a Site of Historical Interest.
The Barrio Obrero Reina Victoria de Huelva occupies an approximate area of 8.25 hectares and has 274 homes with 88 buildings the population does not exceed a thousand people. Surrounded by the city and protected by a small wall that runs along its perimeter it rises up to ten meters above the streets. The general layout is of a garden city, with a ring road, nine parallel streets with two intersections and various landscaped squares. In spite of everything, it is open to traffic for residents.