Huelva train station



The impact of the acquisition of the mines of Riotinto by the British was not long in coming. The first necessity to be solved was the transport of the minerals from the mines in the north of the province. Thus, modern, significant foundations were built to substitute the traditional pack animals. So, railway networks, steam locomotives, bridges, and viaducts appeared together with loading and unloading bays at the end of the route.

The Passenger Lines

The construction of the Train Station of Huelva – popularly known as “Estación de Sevilla” – was finished before the end of the nineteenth century, in the heyday of the progress of the age

We can picture a nostalgic scene – the old locomotive clatters while steam clouds escape from the chimney. A Royal Decree on the 17 July 1858 authorised French engineer Charles Lamiable to carry out a project to build a railway network. However, this project would not be done until 1877 by the public limited society created by two German – businessman Wilhelm Sundheim and industrialist Henry Dötsch. The train station was finally opened in March 1880. Today we can see the Estación de Sevilla from year 1888, in Neo-Mudejar style, very typical from Andalusia.

The population was extremely delighted to see the opening of the Huelva-Sevilla railway line – this is the reason of the curious name “Estación de Sevilla”. From that day on, the city had its own railway, which could appropriately manage the great movements of people and the transport of minerals from the mines of Riotinto. So, modernity came to Huelva.

Architectural Characteristics

The architectural characteristics of the train station also responded to the interest for architectonic styles from other ages, very typical during this period. This new tendency had very diverse origins. One could speak about religious renovation and revitalization, self-identification with the historical past – mythicized by Romanticism –, but it was also the search of a style which could open new paths for the artistic crisis which had started when the classical model had been abandoned. This was the start of the period of Historicism. The Neo-Mudejar is one the art styles of this period and possibly the one which best shows what is genuinely Spanish and Andalusian.

The main train station of Huelva was not the only new building, but also the rest of the halts and terminals of the line were built according to Sundheim’s taste, who was the promoter of the project and the economical and sociocultural activity of the city. 

So, he chose engineers Jaime Font Escolá and Pedro Soto for the construction. Between 1875 and 1888, Font and Soto planned a main building, slightly standing out to the outside, together with two higher, more sizeable turrets.