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Information About Cartagena & the History of Cartagena in a Nutshell

Panoramic views of CartegenaCartegena is an extremely old city which was founded by the Carthaginians in the year 227BC when it was known as Cartago Nova (new Carthage). Cartagena was widely recognised as being one of the wealthiest cities in the ancient world and it rapidly became the main trading port of the Carthaginians.

It's true fame however came with the 2nd Punic war around 218-201BC as this led to the landing of Hannibal and his elephants who came with the intention of defeating the Romans. The mines there provided him with all the silver he needed to carry on the war effort. Throughout the history of Cartagena it has been ruled by many peoples including the Romans, the Visigoths and later (around 711) the Moors, who not only took control of Cartagena but also much of the peninsula. Once under Muslim rule it lost some of it's status as the Moors favoured the newly founded city of Mursiya (Murcia) as the capital for the region.

During the reign of Philip II of Spain Cartagena continued it's strategic importance because it became the official naval headquarters for Spain. In addition it remained the principal trading port for Spain until as late as the 20th century, when competition from the rival ports of Barcelona, Valencia and Malaga caused it to suffer.

Nowadays Cartagena sustains itself by its role as a seaport. The city of Cartagena is still an attractive destination to visit, with much to offer in its old quarter, and the newer parts alike.

If you are interested in Maritime history or ancient history then Cartagena is definitely worth a visit. Also the plush gardens which overlook the beautiful harbour and many ancient monuments such as an amphitheatre are a wonderful place to while away some time.

Cartagena offers tourists museums to visit, and several parks and squares to stop and rest in. Most of Cartagena can be visited on foot which allows you to enjoy one of the many restaurants or cafés and sample the local cuisine. For those shopaholics amongst you, there an array of fashion boutiques as well as large department stores such as El Corte Ingles.

Although quite a journey Cartagena is accessible by bus when you are staying in our apartment in Guardamar del Segura.