Cartagena is on the southeast coast of Spain. Our ship continued to Rome but we got off here.
Cartagena was settled in 227 BC. Like the seaport of Malaga, it flourished under Roman, Muslim and Arab rule. Cartagena has one of the best harbors in the Western Mediterranean and is still an important Spanish naval seaport.
We left the ship and rolled our bags along the seawall to our hotel near Town Hall Square.
Calle Mayor (High Street) is a major pedestrian and commercial street with lots of shops and restaurants.
City Hall was built in the early 20th C during the city’s mining industry boom.
The Grand Hotel is an Art Nouveau building from the early 20th C.
It wouldn’t be Spain without Iberian ham. These are Roman column ruins.
A military parade came by during our coffee break!
This is the church of Santa Maria de Gracia, originally built the 18th C it is the starting point for many Easter holiday processions.
We spotted Ale-Hop cows in almost every town we visited. Ale-Hop is a gift shop. The cow does grab your attention.
The Concepción Castle can be seen behind the Charles III rampart. Cisterns were built in the 13th C on the remains of a Muslim fortress. In 1728, the city was fortified with the construction of a modern castle in place of a former Moorish kasbah. The castle was abandoned in the 18th C but is now the Centre for Interpretation of the History of Cartagena.
We took an elevator up to the castle hill.
In the 13th C reconstruction of the castle used large structures from the Roman Amphitheatre (1st century AD). A bullring was built over it which is now abandoned.
There are great panoramic views of the city and harbor from a plaza on the top of the castle hill .
The Roman Theatre was discovered in 1988. The second largest of the Iberian Peninsula, it was begun at the end of the 2nd century BC.
Santa Maria la Vieja Cathedral (13th C) was destroyed during the Spanish Civil War.
We left the castle and followed the wall back to the waterfront to see our ship leave the port.
We walked back into town to find the Cathedral and Roman Theatre ruins.
Time for Tapas!
Back to our hotel room to enjoy the view.