Cartagena is a city on the south-east coast of Spain with a population of approximately 220,000 people. It was Hannibal’s capital city on the Iberian peninsula, named after his carthage in North Africa, and a strategic port and administration centre for the Romans. It still has a strong and active naval base today. The Rough Guide says that no matter which direction you approach Cartagena it is “not a pretty sight” and that you need to delve into it’s narrow medieval streets to capture it’s true character. Well I think I am going to disagree with them…I kind of like all that it had to offer, even the mining scarred mountains that surround the port. Maybe it reminds me of my roots in the industrial steel towns of Lanarkshire, who knows?
Anyway….I really fell for Cartagena, so let me take you on a visual tour and show you why!
Cartagena is home to ARQVA – the National Museum of Underwater Archaeology which chronicles objects found in underwater excavations spanning over 2500 years. This stunning new headquarters is the work of architect Guillermo Vazquez Consuegra and was conceived as a large open window overlooking the Mediterranean sea. With the kind of modern architecture I love including plenty of strong sharp angles, glass, metals and bold colours I spent quite a lot of time photographing the outside as well as exploring the inside!
From the cool depths of the ARQVO I headed towards Charles III Rampart – the city walls, described as a fundamental piece in the defensive plan of the Arsenal and the military headquarters of Cartagena. It was build at the orders of Charles III. It’s bold and strong and glistened it’s imposing history in the late afternoon sun.
Further still, I came upon the old city and meandered through the streets just watching as people went about their day. Ah, and then from nowhere came a host of men dressed as centurions. I had obviously missed a rather great spectacle of a fiesta!
I have a bit of a thing for over exposed images and like to capture a few from each place I visit. I think I will blog them all together at some point! Anyway, here’s some of the streets of Cartagena.
But this is one of my favourites, I had seen this old man and his dog (whom you can’t see in the image) about throughout my days in the city and he seemed to carry his worldly belongings with him. I love this image. and the one below…So that’s another little taster. I don’t know about you but I am not convinced that it’s unattractive to my eye? Anyway tomorrow’s final blog will show you the mining scarred mountains, the naval base, the Roman architecture, the beautiful graffiti art peppered around the city, the rugged coastline and not to mention an air raid shelter carved out of the side of a mountain. It’s going to be a bumper finale to my week in Spain.
Until then, Jacqui x