Cartagena, hidden gem

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Cartagena Murcia Spain, the city of culture right on our door step.


Cartagena is only around a 40 minute drive from the costa blanca area. Unlike the costal town of Playa Flamenca Cartagena has extreme Roman history every street you walk down there will be another slice of history to study and take in, you can tell by the amazing cobble streets that in the past the Romans where battling down what is now a walk way for modern life.

The town was originally named Mastia. Possessing one of the best harbors in the Western Mediterranean, it was re-founded by the Carthaginian general Hasdrubal in 228 BC as Qart Hadasht (“New City”), identically named to Carthage, for the purpose of serving as a stepping-off point for the conquest of Spain. The Roman general Scipio Africans conquered it in 209 BC and renamed it as Carthage Nova (literally “New New City”) to distinguish it from the mother city.
During the Roman period, it was the site of major silver mines, yielding a daily revenue of 25,000 drachmae. It was known also for the production of gram, a fermented fish sauce, and for esparto grass[9] which granted it a new name, Cartago Spartaria.

Cartagena has a must see attraction that being the Roman theatre it utterly breath taking.The theatre was built between 5 and 1 BC, as has been proven by the dedication of the edifice to Gaius and Lucius Caesar, grandsons of Augustus, who had designated them as his successors.

In the 3rd century AD a market was built over the theatre, reusing its materials, with a semicircular open space which followed the plan of the orchestra. The market was perhaps abandoned after a fire caused by the Vandals in 425. A market quarter of the Byzantines was established on the site in the 6th century AD.

Dedicatory inscriptions to Gaius and Lucius Caesar.
During the 13th century the Old Cathedral of the city was built over the upper cavea. In 1988 the first remains of the theatre were discovered during the construction of the Centro regional de artesanía. The archaeological excavations and the restorations were completed in 2003. In 2008 a museum, designed by Rafael Moneo, was opened.

Not only can you see this amazing theatre but before you get to it you get walked through the museum that showcases some of the things they have discovered over the years, you can also get a tour guide in many different languages to give you an extensive explanation of every detail. To enter this amazing theatre it only cost 6 euro and we think it will be one of the best 6 euros you have spent.

Once you have finished in the Roman theatre you can then make you way to the Concepcion castle of Cartagena where you can see the most spectacular views the city has to offer, you can see the mountains and the sea it is breathtaking. Castillo de la Concepción, known as “castle of the ducks”, is home to a center for interpretation of the history of Cartagena in the Tribute Tower and other rooms of this old 13th century castle. From this medieval construction, built on a hill above the port of Cartagena to surveil and defend the city and its bay, the panoramic views are simply magnificent.

Opening hours:
High season, from July 1 to September 15, every day from 10 am to 8 pm. Mid season, from September 16 to November 2 and from March 31 to June 30, Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am to 7 pm. Easter, every day from 10 am to 7 pm.
Low season, November 3 to March 30, Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am to 5:30 pm

Rate: €3.75 per person. Reduced price: €2.75

Not only is there so much to see and do but the food and shopping is also amazing so the women can go shopping in high street names like Zara, Guess, Sephora to name a few while the men can enjoy a beer or a sangria and take in all the amazing culture the city has to offer.
If you want to stay late on into the evening then it also has amazing nightlife the city is breath taking in the evening and the restaurants are second to none.

It is completely amazing how much Roman history Cartagena has, it is a little city full of so much character and charm. Through every narrow street, every cobble stone path it just oozes with history. Cartagena has so many monuments through the city regarding the Romans. If you are a history fanatic or not, then you really need to take a trip to Cartagena to see the raw Roman history for yourself.

Sometimes you just don’t realize what, is right on your door step. Cartagena is only a 40 minute drive away from our home and it’s like going to another world.

If you don’t have a car don’t worry there is many bus tours available to get you to this fantastic cultural city.



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1 Comment

  1. Lars Gram says:

    adventure going to Cartagena...

    Cartagena is simply fabulous, but if you do not wish to spend time on a boring motorway, turn the trip going to Cartagena into an adventure… try the coastal road through San Javier down to El Algar, and go up in the mountains, where all the abandoned mines are… try driving to the village of El Llano del Beal and take the narrow winding adrenalin-kicking gravel road down to Portman…

    When the Romans ruled Cartagena, they had 40.000 slaves working here at Portland in the mines of Sierra Minera de Cartagena… mining has gone on for many hundred years since, so there are plenty photogenic ruins to look at… and you could take a small nerve wrecking trip to the “hidden” beach of Playa del Gorguel. The gravel road that leads there first literary goes through the ruin buildings of some mining site, continuing winding on the steep slope of a deep ravine… and it serves driving for people with good nerves, as you got to keep honking your horn at every turn, as you cannot see if someone is coming against you before it is almost to late… and only way to pass is that one reverses to nearest place where you hardly can pass, hoping that you will get the spot near the cliff wall rather than the ravine… but once down by the sea, you are at amazing beach, where you can take a dip before continuing to Cartagena:-)

    Cartagena is a must to see… but spending a few hours on the mountain roads can be a grand prelude…

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