The morning in Murcia welcomes us with sunshine. The perfect day for a short visit to Cartagena on the southeast coast of Spain. The second largest city of the region Murcia lies at the Costa Cálida, only 50 km away from the city of Murcia.
We reach Cartagena after about 40 minutes via a well-developed motorway.
The city with more than 200,000 inhabitants was founded by the Iberians, who operated silver mines here. The Carthaginians conquered the city and refounded it in 227 BC.
At that time, the Carthaginians conquered most of the Iberian Peninsula. In 209 BC the Romans conquered the city. For the Romans, Carthago Nova remained the most important silver mining region of the Roman Empire up to the 6th century AD. 40,000 people worked in the silver mines at that time.
In the 16th century, Philipp II made Cartagena an important naval base, which the city remained until today. Its sheltered location in a bay made Cartagena the main naval base in the entire Mediterranean.
Due to its importance, the city was repeatedly embattled by the Carthaginians and Romans as well as by English, French, and in the times of the civil war also by the Spaniards.
Today, Cartagena is the seat of the Parliament of the Murcia region.
Entering Cartagena, we see Peral on a traffic island. Peral was the first, fully functional, electrically powered military submarine. It could carry out its first diving trips in 1888.
On this day, we have only limited time. So we first go to the Tourist Information to inform ourselves about the most important sights and to get a city map.
We stop shortly before the university and the Centro de Interpretación de la Muralla Púnica, the archaeological visitor center. Integrated with the ruins of the defensive walls of Carthago Nova, dating from around 300 BC.
The friendly employees of the Tourism Information also show us the possibility to park for free at another building of the university. But there is no parking lot available and we drive to the underground car park at the harbor.
When we come back into the open air and stand at the quay wall, the next surprise awaits us. In the harbor moors the biggest sailing ship of the world, the “Sailing Yacht A” of the Russian billionaire and oligarch Andrei Melnitschenko.
We decide to make a small walk along the marina and pass the National Museum of Underwater Archaeology.
Then we turn left into Calle Pez. Everywhere in the city, we see defenses and massive high walls. The city always had to fiercely defend itself and this has left its traces.
On the right is a large building that houses parts of the university. On the left is a hill with the Parque Torres and the Castillo de la Conception.
We walk along the street until we reach the Civil War Museum. Here, a glass elevator that takes us up the hill.
On the opposite side of the street are the remains of an old bullring. Under the arena, there is a Roman amphitheater. One intends to excavate them and make them publicly accessible.
On the hill is an old defense tower, Torre Linterna. We see the monument of Alfonso Torres López, the mayor of Cartagena, murdered by the Republicans during the Civil War in 1936.
At the top of the hill is the Castillo de la Concepción, now the center of the interpretation of the history of Cartagena.
Here is the Plaza Puerta de la Villa, a fantastic viewing platform. It offers an unobstructed view over the entire harbor and the city.
At its feet is the Auditorio del Parque Torres, an open-air concert stage and right next to it the Roman theater, Teatro Romano de Cartagena.
From here we walk down to Calle Mayor to look for an ATM. Here we see the Casino de Cartagena, an institution like the Real Casino in Murcia.
On the way back to the harbor, we pass the impressive city hall, Palacio Consistorial. It houses another tourist information.
Opposite to it is the museum and the entrance to the Roman theater. Unfortunately, time is short, we would have loved to visit one or the other museum.
Although we only saw a part of Cartagena, we were very impressed by the city and its history.
Upon leaving the city, we pass the architecturally beautiful train station.
Please read on > From La Manga del Mar Menor to Santa Pola
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Text, photos and video: Copyright © myVideoMedia
Soundtracks in video:
- Harmony- Becauseus Remix by NAPWRIGHT (c) copyright 2010
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/becauseus/28193
- Where the earth meet the sea(Smiles Remix) by Smiles_Dulas (c) copyright 2009
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/Smiles_Dulas/22864
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