Cartagena (Spain)

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Cartagena municipality
Cartagena from San Julian
Cartagena from San Julian
coat of arms Map of Spain
Cartagena coat of arms
Cartagena (Spain) (Spain)
Finland road sign 311 (1994-2020) .svg
Basic data
Autonomous Community : MurciaMurcia Murcia
Comarca : Campo de Cartagena
Coordinates 37 ° 36 ′  N , 0 ° 59 ′  W Coordinates: 37 ° 36 ′  N , 0 ° 59 ′  W
Height : 10  msnm
Area : 558.3 km²
Residents : 214,802 (Jan 1, 2019)
Population density : 384.74 inhabitants / km²
Postal code : 30200-30300
Municipality number  ( INE ): 30016
Nearest airport : Murcia-San Javier
Mayor : Pilar Barreiro PP
Address of the municipal administration: C / San Miguel, 8. 30201 Cartagena, Tel .: (+34) 968 12 88 00
Website :
Location of the municipality
Localización de Cartagena.svg

Cartagena [ kaɾtaˈxena ] is a city and seaport in southeast Spain . It has 214,802 inhabitants (as of January 1, 2019), making it the second largest city in the Murcia region . Cartagena is located in a deep bay of the Costa Cálida ("Warm Coast") directly on the Mediterranean Sea and is one of the most important commercial ports in Spain and the largest marine base on the Mediterranean. The city is the seat of the parliament of the Murcia region and the seat of a bishopric. There is a rail link to the city of Murcia .

View of part of the port


Neanderthals already lived in the area of ​​today's city 50,000 years ago , which is proven by the discovery of colorfully painted mussel shells in the limestone cave Cueva de los Aviones .

At the site of today's Cartagena was the city ​​of Massia or Mastia , which was probably built by the Iberians and was able to conduct significant trade thanks to its silver mines. This Iberian predecessor settlement of Cartagena was built in 227 BC. BC from Hasdrubal as Qart-ḥadašt , which means "New Town" in Phoenician-Punic, so under the same name as Carthage , newly founded and was a naval and military base, in fact the capital of the Carthaginians on the Iberian Peninsula. From here Hannibal set out for Italy at the beginning of the Second Punic War (218 BC). For the Romans, the conquest of the silver deposits was an important war goal. They conquered the city under Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus in 209 BC. And called them Carthago Nova . Carthago Nova remained the most important silver mining region in the Roman Empire until the 6th century AD . According to Polybius, 40,000 people worked in the silver mines here.

Initially belonging to the Roman province of Hispania citerior , it was later included in the province of Tarraconensis . Gaius Iulius Caesar raised the city in 45 BC. To the colonia , which has since been called Colonia Urbs Iulia Nova Carthago or Colonia Victrix Iulia Nova Carthago . Under Diocletian it became the capital of the province of Carthaginensis named after it . In 425 it was destroyed by the Vandals , probably in 475 Visigothic , in 554 again (East) Roman . Under the name of Carthago Spartaria , it was the capital of the eastern Roman province of Spania before it became Visigoth again in 625. From 711, after the fall of the Visigothic Empire, it became part of the Todmir Empire , and in 756, like almost the entire Iberian Peninsula, it became part of the Emirate of Córdoba . Conquered by King James I in 1269 , it came to Aragón , now called Cartagena , during the Christian Reconquista .

In the second half of the 16th century, Philip II restored Cartagena to its new splendor and made it an important naval base. On September 3, 1643, the French admiral Jean Armand de Maillé-Brézé won a major naval victory over the Spanish fleet near Cartagena . During the War of the Spanish Succession , the English Admiral John Leake stormed Cartagena in 1706, but Cartagena was recaptured on November 18th by the Marquis d'Asfeld . In the course of the Seven Years' War , an English fleet commanded by Henry Osborn won a naval battle fought near the city on February 28, 1758 against Michel-Ange Duquesne de Menneville , who wanted to come to the aid of a French squadron blocked by the English in the port of Cartagena. On June 20, 1815, the American Commodore Stephen Decatur was victorious over an Algerian fleet near Cartagena. On November 5, 1823, the city surrendered to the French. In the turmoil of the civil war, the progressives revolted against the Spanish government in Alicante and four days later, on February 2, 1844, also in Cartagena. Cartagena surrendered to Queen Isabella II's troops on March 25, 1844 .

During the First Spanish Republic , federal intransigents who had not been able to get their way in Madrid seized the city and the port with warships on July 12, 1873. From Cartagena they wanted to submit the rest of Spain to their socialist federal republic. General Juan Contreras became chairman of the junta that bombed Almería on July 31 and Alicante on September 28, in order to force these cities to join their revolutionary project. The intervention of the German captain Reinhold von Werner , who was later stopped by Chancellor Bismarck , and the English, who took several ships away from the insurgents, put an end to the sea ventures. The siege by the Spanish government troops on the land side began in August 1873, on the sea side in October after an attack by the ships of the insurgents on the Spanish fleet had been repulsed on October 11 ( battle of Cartagena ). The casualties of the besieged, which were not carried out energetically, were unsuccessful. The city was running out of supplies. The revolutionary junta and convicts fled to Algiers on the frigate Numancia , with which they broke the blockade . After General José López Domínguez had captured Fort Atalaya on January 11, 1874 and demanded the unconditional surrender of the city, Cartagena surrendered the following day.

During the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) Cartagena was the main base of the Spanish Republican Navy and one of the strongholds of the Republican government . It held its ground longer than any other major Spanish city against General Franco's troops , who did not capture Cartagena until March 31, 1939.



Castillo de los Moros (1773–1778), Moorish fortification with a length of 250 m above the port
Gran Hotel de Cartagena (1916)

Cartagena has a city wall and protective systems around the port. Two forts located on rock heights, "Las Galeras" and "San Julian", guard the city. The castle “Castillo de la Concepción” from the 11th century is located 70 m above the port. The castle complex was later extended with a 1000 meter long fortification wall; the non-detached wall is also a supporting structure for the La Concepción hill . Also above the port and east of La Concepción is the 250 meter long Moorish fortification Castillo de los Moros , which was built between 1773 and 1778 and served as a tactical addition to the defense system of Cartagena.

From the port, right after disembarking, you can admire the planted square of the Heroes de Cavite with the "Monumento de los Heroes de Cavite", which commemorates the dead of the Spanish-American War . For decades there was a submarine built by Isaac Peral in the harbor in 1888 , the photo motif can still be found on numerous postcards. Due to weather-related wear, the submarine was relocated to the naval museum "Museo Naval".

In the “Plaza del Ayuntamiento” you can see the remains of the cathedral “Santa Maria la Vieja ”, which was destroyed in the Spanish civil war , as well as a Roman amphitheater .

In 1987, a Roman theater, built in the 1st century AD, was discovered in Cartagena and has been open to the public for the first time since July 2008.

The Fábrica de Fluido Eléctrico Hispania was built in 1900. There are attractive Art Nouveau houses from around 1914 on Calle Mayor.


  • Museo Naval , a naval museum .
  • Museo Nacional de Arqueología Subacuátic , exhibits ancient finds recovered from the sea.
  • Museo Arqueológico Municipal , exhibits Roman, Arabic, Visigoth and Carthaginian finds.


The Roman Theater was opened to the public in 2008 and is considered an archaeological gem. Between 2008 and 2015, 1.2 million people visited the theater.

The newest attraction is the old cathedral, which has been open to visitors since July 27, 2016. According to tradition, it is said to have been founded by the apostle James in the 1st century AD. There is no scientific evidence for this. What is certain is that the Catedral Antigua was rebuilt after the city was retaken by Alfonso X the Wise.

Cartagena could soon attract attention with a new attraction. A Roman amphitheater from the 1st century BC is hidden under the old bullring, Plaza de Toros. The amphitheater is to be excavated from winter 2016 and partly made accessible to the public in spring 2017.


Cartagena has a Technical University ( Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena ) in the hospital district.

Population development of the municipality

Source: INE archive - graphic processing for Wikipedia


There is a large Repsol oil refinery in Cartagena . Jobs are also created through the port industry, naval arsenal and tourism. The plastics industry has expanded in recent years.

The company DZ Licores SLU, which produces the famous Liqueur 43 , is also based in Cartagena .


Historical development in the Council of Cartagena
Political party 2015 2011 2007
Be right % Seats Be right % Seats Be right % Seats
PP * * 58.33% 19th 55.28% 16
PSOE * * 17.55% 5 30.80% 9
MC CARTAGENA * * 5.51% 1 7.54% 2
IU * * 6.03% 2 4.23%

Source: Spanish Ministry of the Interior



Cartagena has a comparatively demanding circuit, Circuito de Cartagena , which received the international FIM homologation C in 2009; Runs for the Spanish championship and European championship runs are held on it. The route is also used by smaller organizers.

Cartagena FC

The FC Cartagena plays in the third-highest Spanish League, the Segunda División B .


The city is expecting 200,000 visitors in 2016.

Near Cartagena is La Manga del Mar Menor , a recreation and vacation area that belongs to the administrative area of ​​the city. The area has an average of 320 days of sunshine a year and around 3000 hours of sunshine, which attracts many tourists to the city.

The celebrations of the holy week Semana Santa attract many Spanish and foreign tourists to the city. For ten days, Easter processions take place predominantly in the evening and at night , during which the suffering of Christ is depicted. Sculptures of saints are decorated with flowers and carried through the city by brotherhoods in characteristic robes with drums and music.

Town twinning


Cartagena is the birthplace of

Web links

Commons : Cartagena  - album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Cifras oficiales de población resultantes de la revisión del Padrón municipal a 1 de enero . Population statistics from the Instituto Nacional de Estadística (population update).
  2. Diodorus 25:12; Polybios 2, 13th
  3. Polybios 3:39.
  4. Polybios 10, 10-16; Titus Livius 26, 42-47.
  5. Cartagena . In Meyers Konversations-Lexikon , 4th edition, 1885-1892, vol. 3, p. 830 ( online )
  6. ^ Website of the Museum Museo Nacional de Arqueología Subacuátic
  7. Resultados provisionales - Cartagena Ministerio del Interior - Subsecretaría Dirección General de Política Interior - 2011, accessed on July 12, 2018.
  8. Archive link ( Memento of the original from April 25, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  9. Archive link ( Memento of the original from January 19, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /