There is a famous quote about Spain which they say that a German chancellor called Otto von Bismark told: that it was the strongest nation in the world because the Spaniards had been trying for centuries to destroy it without success.
When we look back at the succession of nonsense that happened in the Spanish nineteenth century, we have no choice but to somehow agree with Mr Otto. In 1873, without going any further, the country was engaged in the Third Carlist War, and while that was happening the English appeared with fresh money to buy the mines of Riotinto.
The mining brought Huelva a rapid development and lots of industries, facilities and offices to the Andalusia of those years. It also attracted an avalanche of workers to whom they tried to accommodate in some way, to improve the harsh conditions in which the workers of the time lived.
The Barrio Reina Victoria was about to be born, which was going to fit in the middle of Huelva a bit of old England. The project was based on the idea of a Garden City, very much in vogue in British lands for some time, and which featured wide well-lit streets, avenues, gardens, hedges and single-height buildings, all in a curious stylistic mixture in which an indisputable English flavour predominated.
The construction started in 1916, and three years later there were more than two hundred houses built, and later some more would be added. So this place, quite peculiar, is already one century old. It was also declared Asset of Cultural Interest, and it has become one of the icons of the city of Huelva.
But we have yet to comment the issue about the name, because, although many people know the place as the Barrio Obrero, Worker’s District, there is a question to be asked: who is supposed to be the Queen Victoria in question?
There are two possible answers to the enigma: Queen Victory of England or Queen Victoria of Spain, although do not think there is a big difference between the two options because the second, wife of Alfonso XIII, was a native of Scotland and granddaughter of the English Queen. So, either way, it stays in the family.