Spain has an incredible history with many different artifacts and ruins left over from it’s glory days in the past. You can find interesting relics and cave paintings dating as far back as the B.C. era in many cities and one of them is Cartagena, Spain.
Honestly I’ve never even heard of Cartagena and I came here on a whim with a good friend. I’m so glad I did. It was founded in about 227 B.C. according to the guide in the theater there and it’s a major naval base in Spain since it’s right on the Mediterranean. The name Cartagena comes from the Carthaginians who founded this city.
The Roman Empire built a magnificent amphitheater right in the center of Cartagena and it has survived during the Byzantine, Arab, Visigoth, and Chrisitan occupations.
It was hidden from the public eye until 1987 when the former Palacio de la Condesa de Paralto stood. The excavators noticed designs of Corinthian columns underneath the rubble and decided to keep digging.
According to Murcia Today about 6,000 people could be seated here and spectators could enjoy entertainment, politics, and propaganda. It was only used for about 200 years and then it was turned into a marketplace until it was eventually buried underneath a fisherman’s district.
Make sure you visit the museum while you’re there. It truly makes you feel like you are walking through time. You can see artifacts and take a virtual tour of the theater. All the display panels are in English and Spanish so you’ll have no problem figuring out what everything means. They also offer audio guides in other languages if you need them.
To get to the entrance (which we had a hard time finding) head over to the Ayuntamiento (town hall) next to the port and look between two cafes.
High season is May 1st-September 30th and low season is October 1st-April 30th. They have different hours during Holy Week so if you’re heading there around then make sure you check the hours before you go.
If you’re a student it’s 5 euros and 6 if you are not. It’s truly an unbelievable place and I recommend everyone to visit at least once!