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CruiseDirection - Magazine May 2019

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Cartagena (Spain)

Cartagena, a port town in the Costa Calida area of Spain, is in a strategic position on the Murcia coast, a gem of Spain that translates to the ‘Port of Cultures’. Closely tied to the sea, it has been conquered and inhabited by many different cultures that have made the city a conglomerate of architecture and art. The city’s history is rich on its own and when you travel around, you will see many historic places and splendid collections in the city’s archaeological museums.  

The Carthaginians and Romans always showed an interest in this city, probably due to its position by the sea. The name it is known by today comes from the Latin Cartago Nova. It was under Arab rule until Fernando III retook it the Saint and brought into the Spanish kingdom of Castile. This port city was important to Spain in the War of Spanish Succession and the War of Independence.

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Cruise Companies that sail to Cartagena (Spain)

Why visit Cartagena (Spain) ?

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A gem of Spain that translates to the Port of Cultures

Many different cultures that have made the city a conglomerate of architecture and art

As you walk through the city, you will observe how the history of the city stretches along the shore of the marina. The Sea wall, still in existence today, was built in the 18th century and it is the boundary of Cartagena’s historic quarter. From here you can visit the National Museum of Maritime Archaeology and see the prototype of the submarine house. The National Centre of Underwater Archaeological Investigation is also housed here and there are many examples of naval construction through the centuries on display, revealing how ships and navigation were developed in the ancient world.  

The City Hall is a beautiful example of modernist architecture and as you move past it you will come to Torres Park and the Old Cathedral. The Cathedral was built in the 13th century and is the oldest in the city, built on the remains of a Roman Theatre that was discovered in 1987. The Municipal Archaeological Museum is now the home of many of the artefacts that were found during this excavation. There are also the remains of an Amphitheatre, the Molinete Archaeological Zone, the Colonnade of the Lower Moorish Quarter, and a Byzantine Wall.  

Visitors to the city who wish to do more than visit the many cultural exhibits can enjoy the many beaches and water sports that are available along the shore. Water sports such as diving and fishing to name just two are also available, and guests to the city can enjoy the casino and resort for a different take on the ancient surroundings. Other accommodation includes hotels, self-catering options, and hostels for those visitors who enjoy backpacking across Europe.  

When you stay in Cartagena, you can enjoy fresh vegetables, seafood, and traditional dishes from the area. Salted fish – tuna, mackerel and melva – is very popular as is fish stew made of mullet, monkfish, grouper, and rice. You may want to top it off with a cup of coffee that is prepared with condensed milk, brandy and cinnamon.  

Cartagena is a also a great base for visiting some of the smaller villages and towns in the area, or simply to just relax and enjoy the Mediterranean Sea and the sandy beaches.

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