Sancho IV the brave and Columbus

ITINERARY 1: Aroche - Cortegana - Almonaster - Cumbres Mayores - Aracena - Santa Olalla.

ITINERARY 2: Niebla - Lucena del Puerto - Moguer - La Rábida - Cartaya.

Two very different itineraries in Huelva. The first takes us among the hills: a series of defensive castles put up or rebuilt mainly in the 13th c. by the Castilians as a result of their mistrust of the neighbouring Kingdom of Portugal; then there are the fortresses of Aroche and Cumbres Mayores, with a bullring inside; the castle of Cortegana is in a magnificent setting; the castle of Almonster has a small mosque, that of Aracena, said to be built by the Knights Templar, a Gothic-mudéjar church.

A review of the Kingdom of Seville's defence lines can conclude with the castle of Santa Olalla and then on by the area known as El Condado to "the beach of Castille" on the Atlantic coast.

Admirers of castles can enjoy the walls of Niebla and the great mound of the castle of Los Guzmanes within. Cartaya has a 13th c. castle.

Those who prefer monasteries have a wide choice: near Lucena del Puerto, there is La Hacienda de la Luz with a Gothic church of what used to be a Hieronymite convent; at Moguer we have the monastery of Santa Clara with its Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art.

In the neighbourhood of Palos, there is the small Franciscan monastery of La Rábida, that has strong associations with Columbus and his voyage of discovery.

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