Cartagena's Museums

Useful guide to Cartagena's museums, where you will find plenty of information about the story of this historic city in the Murcia region of Spain.

Museums in Cartagena Spain

Cartagena’s Museums - With so much history available from Cartagena’s past, here are just a few of the city’s main museums to see to give you an insight into the development of the city today.

The Punic Ramparts Exhibition is one of the most interesting. Discovered in 1989 on the south side of hill of San Jose (or Aletes as it was known in Roman times), three rampart walls enclosed the Punic city and were constructed around the year 227 BC. Built in the Hellenistic style with two parallel walls, with an eighteen feet gap between them, to provide living accommodation, storage, warehousing etc., they linked with the other walls. A visit will open your eyes to see how life was lived during this period of Cartagena’s history.

The Augusteum - This building dates back to Roman times about 1st century AD, and is one of the best archaeological sites in the city. Thought to have been the meeting place for the priesthood of the Cult of Emperor Augustus.

The Decumano - was excavated in 1968 and the square is the site of a main thoroughfare through the city, liking this area to the Forum and a series of thermal baths.

The Roman Theatre - Amazingly this amphitheatre was discovered quite by chance in 1987. It is thought to have been built in the late 1st century BC, a period of maximum development in the Roman colony. The rows of seats were built into the northern side of Concepción Hill. The Byzantine Ramparts were due to the discovery of the Roman theatre which was a few yards away. In the mid 6th century the Byzantines ruled the city and part of the foundations of their ramparts gave access to the grounds of the amphitheatre.

Cartagena In Past Times.

Cartagena is the second largest town in the region of Murcia, founded by the Carthaginians in 223 BC. Hannibal had the city as his Iberian capital and named it Quart Hadas, the New City. After conquest by the Romans in 209 BC it was re-named Carthago-Nova or New Carthage.

The Romans, Byzantines and Arabs all took full advantage of the city's perfect natural harbour, surrounded by mountains that were rich in metallic ores. Today this natural harbour is still the home of the largest Spanish naval base in the Mediterranean.

With the fall of the Roman Empire the city entered a period about which little is known, until the Visigoths dominated the town. In 555 AD the Byzantine troops of Justinian re­took the city. It was again under Visigoth control around the year 621 AD, and remained so until the Arab conquest of 734 AD.

In 1245 AD Alfonso 10th re-conquered the city and the Arabs were expelled. The 16th century saw a period of great economical and political expansion, sadly brought to a close by the widespread epidemics of that era. However, by the 19th century the area was enjoying new wealth due to the mining industry.

Cartagena is a city where history abounds on every street corner, and although the city has had a period of highs and lows, it enters the 21st Century with an immense programme of restoration and recovery of the many historical and archaeological sights of which this ancient city is so rightly proud

Article provided by kind permission of The Leader Newspaper

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