Cartagena, Spain

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For other places of the same name, see Cartagena.


Cartagena is a seaport in southeast Spain on the Mediterranean Sea, in the autonomous community of Murcia. The coordinates of Cartagena are 37°36′ N 0°59′ W.

It is a walled town and has a fine harbor defended by forts. In the time of Philip II of Spain, it was a major naval seaport of Spain. It's still an important naval seaport and there is a big naval shipyard.

It was founded about 230 BC by Carthaginian General Hasdrubal as Carthago Nova (New Carthage. Incidentally Qart Hadast, the Punic name of Carthago means "new city".) When it was taken by Scipio in 209 BC it was said to be one of the richest cities in the world.

Hannibal got silver from the mines there to carry on the war against Rome.

In 1873, the garrison arose against the First Spanish Republic and formed the independent Cartagena Canton. Since they had the best part of the Spanish Navy, they cruised the Spanish Mediterranean trying to bring them to Cantonalism. The Federalist Spanish government declared them a pirate fleet, encouraging foreign countries to chase and sink them.

The conscience of self-importance appeared again during the establishment of Autonomous Communities. Some Cartageneros were not happy to be in the same region as inland Murcianos.

The Autonomy Act struck a compromise by having Murcia as the seat of the regional government and Cartagena as the seat of the parliament.

Cartagena has a lot of archaeologic sites. All over the old centre you can find showcases with remains of Roman buildings.

Cartagena was the birthplace of Isidore of Seville, the Director of the Holy See (Vatican) Press Office Joaquin Navarro Valls and the Spanish writer Arturo Pérez Reverte.

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