One of the most unique landscapes of El Rompido is seen overlooking the river from the square Sirens. On the waters several dozen small boats swaying and, behind them, several buildings struggling to maintain its commanding presence among the increasingly abundant gorse rise. Its about Real Almadraba New Umbria, a small town located in the Arrow and currently unused, It built to exploit the trap that was shed against Costa.

Real Almadraba New Umbria, seen from the tower of the Captain's House.

Real talk Almadraba usually involves talking about the Real New, which it is what is seen from the square. Nevertheless, few hundred meters to the west and much more difficult to appreciate stood the Real Viejo, which is hardly a building standing. As is the case with the two lights of El Rompido, Real Viejo was built in S. XIX and the Royal New in the S. XX.

From 1929 a 1963, were caught in this trap some 250.000 tunas.

New Real came to live a thousand people for a little over three decades, but only from February through September, it was the season of tuna. There was only one high in summer 1936 when, because of the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, the captain sent the tuna fishermen home for a few days because of fighting between ships, aircraft and a submarine off the coast preventing fish well. Nevertheless, from 1929 a 1963 were caught in this trap some 250.000 tunas and 20.000 atunarros, In addition Snapper, mackerels, beautiful, corvinas, swordfish, sunfish, etc. Boats moored at the dock located on the river bank, protected from the pounding waves of the ocean. Even today you can see the dock at low tide, since water has ebbed.

Looking up from the dock are, from left to right, the barracks, Fireplace, the house of gasoil and the captain's house. In the barracks, divided into small houses with one room, tuna fishermen lived with their families. There were equipped with a stove for cooking and some mattresses on the floor to sleep, but in summer it was common to sleep outside because of the heat blocks. Fireplace, now crowned with a stork's nest, serving to heat the pitch with which the networks are protected. Finally, separated from other buildings by an open space, is the captain's house, recognizable by its square tower. Among the captain's house and the bank it had a terrace, today under a oleanders, where the captain spent his evenings with his family and guests.

Diesel booth and the captain's house with tower in the background.

From the Mirador Tower house captain was possible to see the vessels fishing in the trap, from which the sailors, through a system of flags, He reported on the catch of the day. If raised was good, more than five hundred tunas, Spain flag was hoisted on the veranda and everyone commented on the people shouting “flag!, flag!“.

Torre captain's house, view about.

Tuna fishing trap is a technique of a maze of networks located at the crossing point of tunas and has centuries in the Costa de Huelva. Medina Sidonia house had a monopoly of exploitation of the traps of Huelva until early S. XIX, when management became business and began to proliferate small traps along the coast. In 1928 Almadrabero was established the National Consortium (CNA) under the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera, in order to concentrate and transform the sector. Is the moment when the Real New builds and start working on it Mariners Cartaya, beautiful, Isla Cristina and Punta Del Moral. He “caller” He is banging every morning the doors of homes before dawn to wake the sailors and they borrowed fishing. The departure of the boats to sea, as today, It depended on the tide allowed.

Retama weed has taken over the forecourt of the Royal.

Women's life was equally agitated: besides attending the house and babysit, purchase performed at Cantina, Located midway between the Royal New and Real Viejo, and some were even Cartaya and Lepe to sell fresh fish capture or worked on farms was on the other side. The river could be crossed by a ferryman, I am performing this service for a blind journey (a fat was the dime of peseta). Children engaged in play and swim in the sea at noon, but when they reached puberty helped children with fishing and girls with housework.

He is currently declared of cultural interest and there are several groups that promote restoration.

Not all tuna fishermen were accompanied by their families, as some were single or came alone from afar. They slept in the “single house”, which has bunk masonry on the walls that even today remind niches.

Interior Warehouse.

Real Almadraba New Umbria continues to dominate the landscape of the Arrow, also from the air, as a faithful witness to the seafaring tradition of the Huelva coast. He is currently declared of cultural interest and there are several groups that promote restoration and enhancement through an interpretive museum. In the meantime, these buildings resist silent over time, waiting to teach future generations the secrets of an ancient craft that brings us to the table tuna, always present in the local cuisine.

Source: ACEVEDO RUIZ, Juan Manuel; Lopez Gonzalez, Jose Antonio; FERNÁNDEZ FERRERA, Joseph. 2012. “Almadraba captains”. Thunnus ediciones