Museums and Sites of Cartagena, Spain
Cartagena, Spain probably would have never been a place that I would have visited if it had not been for a friend of mine suggesting otherwise. I had no idea what to expect when I arrived.
I did no research before I had arrived. An approach that is pretty typical of me. Don’t get me wrong, I did do the general search that I normally do. General things such as the weather, safety, cost of living, and such.
So when I arrived in Cartagena I knew within the first thirty minutes that I was going to thoroughly enjoy, if not love, this town! How could I not! This was an archaeological hotspot!
To be brief, Cartagena’s history in Spain spans back to around 209 BCE; they had the misfortune of having to leave their homeland of Tunis around twenty years prior. It was only twenty years after their arrival into Spain and establishing their new home that Rome decided they wanted the port city. Most of the archaeological history that is, for me, the highlights of Cartagena are of Roman influence. And boy is there a lot!
All the history of this town kept my friend Koep and I very busy from sun up to sun down. We had four days in this wonderful town and we spent three of them in amazing museums and sites, each grand in their own way.
A word of advise (and I should have known better), all museums are closed on Mondays in Cartagena. This seems to be a general rule across Europe. It is not just for museums, but for several businesses, actually. However, this variable did not stop us from taking in the sites. There are several in this town that can be seen from the outside.
Just walking and looking around we could see so many ruins throughout the city.
The wall that surrounded the old town. Graffiti aside, it is a nice walk with great views!
Hello museums and warm blue skies! One thing that Cartagena does not lack are the number of museums they offer; and they are not expensive at all! In addition to archaeological based museums they also have several military based museums as well! Our first museum was that of the Punic Wall.
Underwater Archaeology Museum
Of course the Underwater Archaeology Museum was next in line to see. Being an archaeologists and a scuba diver I enjoyed this museum extensively! It was well put together and brought awareness to issues and subject that are otherwise never considered or discussed. Great for peoples of all walks of life.
After eating our first helping of the locals favorate dish, Caldero, at a nice seaside restaurant for only four euros, we moved onto the Roman Theatre Museum…easily my most favorite museum and experience!
Roman THEATre Museum
I can’t explain how excited I was when I saw that we were able to walk down these steps and explore!
Koep felt like catching a show at the Roman Theatre in the nose-bleed section. I didn’t have the heart to tell him he was late by a few thousand years. Fortunately, he wasn’t upset. Can you blame him? Just look at that view!
Municipal Archaeological Museum
We tracked down the Municipal Archaeological Museum on the other side of town. It wasn’t the most exciting area of Cartagena, but the museum made it worth the thirty-four minute walk. This museum provided a chronological exhibit that expanded from the prehistoric history to modern art of Cartagena.
It was a quaint museum, but a very stimulating one. The Mosaics are most impressive…and it was free!!
The naval museum was our next stop. It was also a change in the theme of all the museums and sites we had visited and focused on thus far.
I enjoyed this museum, especially the history of their flag and the very impressive model ship exhibit they had.
Since the day we had arrived we had been eyeballing the ruins of what looked like a castle or wall. It is hard to miss it when walking through the city for it is high up upon a mountain in the center of the city.
So we decided to trek up the steep road and take in the site. It was a bit dodgy looking when we arrived due to all the trash, but it was an impressive feat and provided an amazing view.
Still not knowing its proper name, we dubbed it ‘Fort Sketchy’. The hidden stairs we found that led us to an even higher location in the ruins was the most fun.
District of the Roman Forum
Our second to the last museum was the District of the Roman Forum. I enjoyed this site because it brought something new to the dynamic of things.
This was a location of a spa and socially hosted events. It was a site that was rare in itself because it was ninety percent intact from its original form…an archaeologist’s dream site! Definitely worth a visit!
From day one we always found our way to the general area of the Conception Castle, yet we never made it up to it, or even knew it was there. So learning that I can finally go up the Lift I had been eyeballing since I arrived was a great treat for me! The lift brought us up to the castle that provided the best view we had come across.
The walk up to the castle provided an interesting variable – Peacocks! There was even an albino female that was gorgeous!
The castle itself did not have many exhibits, however, it allowed you to climb to the top and see the stunning view that those who had lived in it during its glory.
Sadly, we could not experience all the museums and sites such as the Civil War Museum, Military Museum, and the House of Fortune because of our time constraint. But my guess is they would not disappoint.
All I have to say is Cartagena did not disappoint when it came to archaeology, history, scenery, kindness, price, and accessibility. I am really happy I was convinced to visit this historically loaded Cartagena, Spain.
Tell me about your favorite museum!