Cartagena was the first port of call on our cruise back to the U.S. from Italy last fall. This was our second visit to Cartagena. You can see the post of our first visit here.
This time we visited the Roman Theater and museum of Cartagena.
The city had its heyday during the Roman Empire, when it was known as Carthago Nova (the New Carthage). The Roman Theater was built in the late first century BC. It is the 2nd largest on the Iberian Peninsula. It wasn’t discovered until 1988, when the city’s Bullring, which had been built over it, was abandoned. The museum is situated under the ruins of a church, which was built next to the theater.
The entrance is rather low key compared to what’s inside!
The museum is set up as a walk back through time, past hundreds of objects recovered during the excavation of the theater.
A Roman house has been found under the church. It was demolished when the theater was built. This floor of the house was used in a chapel of the church.
Eventually you arrive at the amphitheater, built into the side of the hill. It could hold 7000 spectators.
This is a popular spot for wedding photos.
We exited through an arched doorway from the church ruins.
We had time to explore more of Cartagena.
Assorted tapas – eggplant, potatoes, mussels, stuffed mushrooms….
There are lots of archeological sites.
The Molinete Archaeological Park has a large covered area to protect some of the Roman ruins. It was closed so we’ll have to check it out on another trip.
There was a temple on the hilltop of the park, built in the 2nd century BC.
For 500 years, flour mills caught the wind on this hill, which gave the hill its name, Cerro del Molinete (Mill Hill).
There’s a small playground….
and views of the city.
The dome of Iglesia de la Caridad, built in the late 1800s
We walked past more archeologic sites right in the middle of town. This was the Roman Forum.
Plaza di San Francisco
This was a great 2nd visit to Cartagena – and there’s still more to see if we come again!