Costa de la Luz

The Costa de la Luz (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈkosta ðe la luθ], “Coast of Light”) is a section of the Andalusian coast in Spain facing the Atlantic; it extends from Tarifa in the south, along the coasts of the Province of Cádiz and the Province of Huelva, to the mouth of the Guadiana River.

The Costa de la Luz (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈkosta ðe la luθ], “Coast of Light”) is a section of the Andalusian coast in Spain facing the Atlantic; it extends from Tarifa in the south, along the coasts of the Province of Cádiz and the Province of Huelva, to the mouth of the Guadiana River.

A popular destination for vacationing Spaniards, in recent years the Costa de la Luz has become more popular with foreign visitors, especially the French and the Germans. Increasing urbanization and tourism-oriented development of parts of the coast have had economic benefits, but these trends have also ignited fevered real-estate speculations and some environmental degradation.

The Costa de la Luz has a rich history that dates back to the twelfth century BCE. Cultural attractions include Baelo Claudia, the well-preserved ruins of a small Roman city; Cape Trafalgar, where, in 1805, in sight of this promontory, the English admiral, Horatio Nelson, defeated a combined French and Spanish fleet; and La Rábida Monastery.

At the Rábida Monastery in Palos de la Frontera near Huelva, Christopher Columbus sought the aid of the Franciscan brothers, hoping to enlist them as advocates for his scheme to launch a voyage of discovery. They introduced Columbus to a wealthy local seafaring family, the Pinzón brothers, who eventually prevailed upon Ferdinand and Isabella to listen to Columbus’s pitch for support. With royal patronage and the collaboration of the Pinzóns, Columbus was able to secure his three ships as well as local crews from the Huelva area. In fact, there is a persistent belief that Columbus settled on his final westward route after speaking to a local sailor named Alonso Sánchez.

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