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Cartagena

Cartagena

Ancient Naval Town on a Magnificent Shletered Bay

Near Murcia is another great Carnival City, Cartagena, with it's wealth of archaeological treasures museums and a working port who's history spans 3,000 years. The city is a working port and also is home to a large naval base.

The bullring was erected in 1854, over the Roman amphitheatre. The port city has a large marina and much effort has gone into restoring the beautiful buildings of Cartagena.

History: Given its location, Spain was both vulnerable to invaders, and attractive to traders. Long before Roman occupation, Phoenicians, Greeks, and Carthaginians had settled on the Iberian Peninsula, with each civilization leaving an imprint on its artistic heritage. The western Roman empire was already crumbling when northern European tribes arrived on the peninsula. These “barbarians” as they were called, left their imprint on the classic art forms of the day, and eventually formed a new culture with the Hispano-Romans on the Iberian Peninsula.

Existing between two great civilizations (the Romans and the Moors of Al-Andalus), the Visigoths and their art are largely ignored by art historians. In 711, armies arrived from North Africa, and the Arabs and Berbers defeated the Visigoths. With the exception of small pockets of resistance in the mountains of northern Spain, they occupied nearly the entire Iberian Peninsula within a few years. 

Official: the tourist office is close to the bus station at the end of Calle San Diego. Get their street map to make your visit easier. Most of the sights can be found in one central area, all within easy walking distance. The coastal resorts of Mazarrón, Cala Cortina and Cabo de Palos are a little further north, as is the world famous resort of Mar Menor.

Last Update: 15SEP05
Last Update: 07OCT05