Sal Island

General Information:

Province: Múrcia
University: Polytechnic University of Cartagena
Population: 213 943 (2018) National Statistics Institute
Total area: 558,3 km²
Coordinates: 37° 36' N 0° 59' O
Foundation: c. 227 a.C. (2 249 anos)
Founder: Asdrúbal, o Belo

The port of Cartagena, nestled along the picturesque Costa Cálida in the Mediterranean, boasts a rich history dating back to Carthaginian times. Positioned strategically on the Murcia coast, this maritime haven has been shaped by various cultures, each leaving an indelible mark on its artistic heritage.

Embarking on a tour of Cartagena and its museums is a journey through time, delving deep into the city's close ties with the sea. From the Carthaginians to the Romans, Cartagena's port, once known as Cartago Nova in Latin, has played pivotal roles in historical events like the War of Succession and the Peninsular War.

The historic center of Cartagena unveils its treasures, with the Muralla del Mar, a sea wall constructed by Charles III in the 18th century, defining the old quarter. Overlooking the Mediterranean, the city pays homage to its maritime roots with the prototype of the submarine by local inventor Isaac Peral, showcased at the National Museum of Underwater Archaeology ARQUA.

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The Old Cathedral, standing on the Camino del Parque Torres, dates back to the 13th century and rests upon the remains of a Roman theatre discovered in 1987. The archaeological wonders of Cartagena include El Molinete, Morería Baja colonnade, and the Byzantine Wall, which, despite its name, bears Roman origins. The Torres Park, home to Concepción Castle, narrates tales of Carthaginians, Romans, Visigoths, Arabs, and Castilians. The Modernist architecture of Cartagena unfolds along the Calle Mayor, with notable structures like the Town Hall, Casino, Gran Hotel, railway station, and residences by architect Victor Beltrí. These elegant monuments stand as testaments to the economic development driven by mining and industry in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Monte Aletes hosts the Punic Wall, dating from the third century B.C., with a Visitor Centre offering insights into its historical significance. The Military Arsenal, adjoining the historic center, and the Naval Museum provide a glimpse into Cartagena's maritime and military history. Cultural events, including the 'La Mar de Músicas' festival and the Carthaginians and Romans festivities in September, add vibrancy to Cartagena's calendar. In the realm of gastronomy, Cartagena's diverse landscapes yield a bounty of ingredients. From preserved products in brine to rice dishes and paellas, the city's culinary delights reflect its coastal location. The abundant salt flats contribute to the preparation of brine-preserved delicacies, while calderos showcase a fusion of rice and fish in a rich broth. Fig bread and the local asiático, a beverage made with condensed milk, cognac, and cinnamon, complement the gastronomic experience. To explore the breadth of Murcian cuisine, venturing to the northwest reveals treasures like the Sierra de Moratalla, Caravaca de la Cruz, and Calasparra, known for its unique rice. The Altiplano in Murcia offers monumental towns like Jumilla and Yecla, celebrated for their wines and culinary traditions. As you traverse Cartagena's historical sites and savor its culinary delights, you'll find yourself immersed in a tapestry woven with threads of history, culture, and gastronomy.