Cartagena is among the most attractive areas in Spain, because of the rich history of this area. Cartagena is situated in the autonomous community of the Region of Murcia. Cartagena was controlled by the Romans during the famous
Punic War. The Roman people took Cartagena to its peak by transforming it into a thriving city. The climate over the island is defined as subtropical Mediterranean sub-arid or arid. The temperatures are made more pleasant by its maritime position, although the rainfall rarely exceeds 300 mm annual average and this places Cartagena amongst the driest in Europe. The city is a popular tourist destination as well as a naval station. Cartagena is a historical city with a harbor with its forts still undamaged. Cartagena is guarded by two fortresses “Las Galeras” and “San Julian” that are well worth visiting. This place has origins going back to its founding in 227 BC. Cartagena has a rich and unique artistic heritage with numerous landmarks dating back to Ancient times, Medieval ages and many modern ones. This place is mostly a surprise to numerous tourists. Outside the walls, the terrain seems unfriendly, or even primitive, but, within the architecture is a fascinating ancient city. Like other European cities, Cartagena has an amazing mix of new and old.
What to Visit
Roman theater offers rich historical sights of Cartagena from the first century, which the Roman people used to enjoy numerous fine-arts performances. It was built in 2nd century BC and in 3rd century AD a market was built over the theater and the first remains of it were discovered in 1988. The archaeological excavations and the restorations were finished in 2003. This is a great place every tourist must visit as it tells much about this wonderful island. Torres Park – the castle’s hill is well-gardened and prepared to aid the visitors to know about the history of Cartagena, in its History Interpretation Center, situated in the castle. For you to visit it, one might either walk uphill from town or use the panoramic lift located in Calle Gisbert. One of the best archaeological sites on this island is
Augusteum. One can cherish the rich Spanish culture and also the ancient architecture, which is distinct and impressive in form and skills. The ruins of a fascinating fort, the Concepcion Castle, that in medieval times was a part of the city’s defenses, are very interesting place to visit. The site was allegedly where Emperor Augustus met with his priesthood cult. History lovers will likewise take pleasure in the Municipal Archaeological museum and the National Museum of Underwater Archaeology. Right here, visitors will see artifacts found from under the sea around Murcia. It has the world’s only collection of elephant tusks bearing Phoenician inscriptions. Along with recovered artifacts, this museum holds the ancient ships models. The details of the antiques tell stories on their own and also complement the history of Cartagena’s seafaring past. Naval Museum is one of the contemporary sights that are worth visiting. There you can see the Peral Submarine, one of the first U-boats ever, invented by Isaac Peral, born in Cartagena and many other models of submarines, ships and weapons. Cartagena is home to many modern style buildings from the 20th century like the City Hall, Grand Hotel, Cervantes house and many other that will for sure capture your attention.
Beaches in Cartagena are normally of the black sand variety with calm seas. As a matter of fact, this place boasts more award winning beach compared to other places in Spain, so beach lovers take advantages of this. With 73 km of coastline, Spain’s Mar Menor on the Costa Calida provides an abundance of excellent beaches, many with Blue Flag status for their tranquil shallow waters, clean beaches as well as wide palm-lined promenades. One of the most popular includes Los Alcazares that has some of the finest coastlines along Spain’s Costa Calida, which include Playa del Espejo and Playa de Los Narejos, which have won the renowned Q Awards for their high standard. The San Pedro del Pinatar beach is likewise popular as the beaches at Santiago de la Ribera, with its broad promenade and Santiago de La Torre de la Horada.
In Cartagena there is a variety of Mediterranean and traditional Spanish restaurants, so you won’t have any problem in finding good seafood dishes, Spanish traditional dish paella or other delicious Mediterranean delicacies. Cartagena is characterized by its traditional gastronomy, where seafood, fish, meat and wine are part of its culinary history. ‘Olla Gitana’ is a hot-dish including pumpkin, chickpeas, potatoes, pear, sweet pepper, saffron, onion and tomato. “Michirones” is another typical dish which consist of ham chunks, broad beans, spicy sausage, lean bacon, cayenne and potatoes; served hot with aioli. A soupy meal is “Caldero del Mar Menor”, which is made with rice cooked in fish and chicken broth, as scorpionfish and grey mullet; served hot with aioli sauce and a piece of fish.
Beautiful promenade offers many restaurants, bars and lounge bars. After having your gastronomic appetite satisfied you can have drinks and dance till late at night in one of the city bars and clubs. During the summer season there are also numerous events like live music, various concerts, Carthaginians and Romans Fiesta ( 10 day fiesta where locals play war games and re-enact the battles between Romans and Carthaginians during the second Punic War), La Mar de Musicas (annual festival held in the castle’s auditorium that brings the best of world music to Cartagena). Famous events in Cartagena are also the Easter week (spectacular and unique festival) and Cartagena International Film Festival.