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|— Municipality —|
|Motto: Muy noble, muy leal y siempre heroica ciudad de Cartagena|
|Coordinates: 37°36′N 0°59′WCoordinates: 37°36′N 0°59′W|
|Comarca||Campo de Cartagena|
|• Mayor||Pilar Barreiro (2007) (PP)|
|• Total||558.3 km2 (215.6 sq mi)|
|Elevation||10 m (30 ft)|
|Highest elevation||50 m (160 ft)|
|Lowest elevation||0 m (0 ft)|
|• Density||390/km2 (1,000/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Postal code||302xx and 303xx|
Cartagena has been inhabited for over two millennia, being founded around 227 BC as Qart Hadasht during the Phoenician conquest. The city lived its heyday during the Roman Empire, when it was known as Carthago Nova (the New Carthage) and Carthago Spartaria, capital of the province of Carthaginensis. Then it suffered a period of ups and downs during the Umayyad invasion of Hispania, under its Arabic name of Qartayannat al-Halfa.
Much of the historical weight of Cartagena in the past goes to its coveted defensive port, one of the most important in the western Mediterranean. Cartagena has been the capital of the Spanish Navy's Maritime Department of the Mediterranean since the arrival of the Spanish Bourbons in the 18th century. As far back as the 16th century it was one of the most important naval ports in Spain, together with Ferrol in the North. It is still an important naval seaport, the main military haven of Spain, and there is a big naval shipyard.
The confluence of civilizations as well as its strategic harbour, together the rise of the local mining industry is manifested by a unique artistic heritage, with a number of landmarks such as the Roman Theatre, the second largest of the Iberian Peninsula after the one from Mérida, a lot of Phoenician, Roman, Byzantine and Moorish remains and a plethora of Art Nouveau buildings, result of the bourgeoisie from the early 20th century. Cartagena is now established as a major cruiser destination in the Mediterranean and an emerging cultural focus.
It is the first of a number of cities which eventually have been named Cartagena, most notably Cartagena de Indias (Cartagena of the West Indies) in Colombia.
 Geography and climate
 Geography and relief
The city of Cartagena is located in the southeastern region of Spain in the Region of Murcia. The Cartagena region can be viewed as a great plain inclined slightly in the direction NW-SE, bordered at the north and the northwest by pre-coastal mountain ranges (Carrascoy, El Puerto, Los Villares, Columbares and Escalona), and at the south and southwest by coastal mountain ranges (El Algarrobo, La Muela, Pelayo, Gorda, La Fausilla y Minera, with its last spurs in Cape Palos). The dominant geology of the region is metamorphic (slate, marble) and sedimentary (limestone).
the city is located just at the end of the new AP-7 motorway.
Panoramic view of Cartagena. The Old Town is limited by five small hills (Molinete, Monte Sacro, Monte de San José, Despeñaperros and Monte de la Concepción) following the example of Rome. In the past there was an inner sea between the hills called the Estero that eventually dried up. On this site the "Ensanche" (Expansion or New Town) was built at the beginning of the 20th Century.
The urban area is delimited or crossed by several watercourses, some of which go deep into the urban network during great part of their courses.
Cartagena has a warm, semi-arid climate. Its location near the ocean moderates the temperature, and annual precipitation typically does not surpass 300 mm (12 in). The annual average temperature goes up to around 20 °C. The coldest month is January with an average of 12 °C. In August, the warmest month, the average temperature is 26 °C. The wind is an important climatic factor in the region.
|[hide]Climate data for Cartagena|
|Average high °C (°F)||15 |
|Average low °C (°F)||4 |
|Precipitation mm (inches)||28 |
|Source: Weatherbase |
Despite the intense mining, tourist and industrial exploitation that the area has suffered for centuries, the territory around Cartagena city hosts an extraordinary natural wealth and diversity, with a large number of botanical endemic species. Part of its area is subject to different levels of legal protection.
|This section requires expansion.|
 Ancient history
Carthaginian walls of Carthago Nova (Spain) s.III bC. The town was originally named Mastia. Possessing one of the best harbors in the Western Mediterranean, it was re-founded by the Carthaginian general Hasdrubal in 228 BC as Qart Hadasht ("New City"), identically named to Carthage, for the purpose of serving as a stepping-off point for the conquest of Spain. The Roman general Scipio Africanus conquered it in 209 BC and renamed it as Carthago Nova (literally, New New City) to distinguish it from the mother city. Julius Caesar gave the town Latin Rights, and Octavian renamed it in his honor as the colony Colonia Victrix Iulia Nova Carthago or Colonia Vrbs Iulia Nova Carthago (C.V.I.N.C.) depending on the source.
In 298 AD Diocletian constituted a new Roman province in Hispania called Carthaginensis and settled the capital in this city. It remained important until it was destroyed by the Vandals in 435 AD. During the Roman period, it was the site of major silver mines, yielding revenue of 25,000 drachmae daily. It was known also for the production of garum, a fermented fish sauce, and for esparto grass which granted it a new name, Cartago Spartaria.
 Middle Ages
The demise and fall Roman sovereignty caused the city to go into decline and it was occupied successively by the Vandals (409–425), the Visigoths (425–551 and 624–714) and the Byzantines (551–624), who made it the capital of Spania, the Byzantine Empire's westernmost province). Cartagena went re-conquered by the Visigoths until the Muslim conquest in 714 AD, under the name of Qartayannat-al-Halfa. It was subsequently ruled by Umayyads (714–756), the Caliphate of Cordova (756–1031), the Taifa of Denia (1031–1076), the Taifa of Saragossa (1076–1081), the Taifa of Tortosa (1081–1092), the Almoravids (1092–1145), the Almohads (1145–1229) and the Taifa of Murcia (1229–1245) before the Castilian conquest in 1245, when it finally handed to the Christian rule, with its current name. King Alfonso X of Castile (Alfonso the Wise) recaptured the city and restored the Bishopric of Cartagena. He created the Order of Saint Mary of Spain in 1270 in purpose of the naval defense of the Crown of Castile, establishing its headquarters in Cartagena. In 1296 it annexed to the Kingdom of Aragon. Cartagena and Spain in general then entered a period of great decadence and decay, despite a short economic revival in the 16th century, but it din’t fully recover until the 18th century when it became a leading naval port.
 Modern history
In 1728 Cartagena became the capital of the Spanish Navy's Maritime Department of the Mediterranean and the city was heavily fortified with the construction of a modern Castle in the place of a former Moorish Kasbah, several barracks and a huge arsenal. In a relatively short period of time the population of the city grew from around 10,000 to 50,000 inhabitants.
In 1757, during the Seven Years War, a French naval force was forced to take shelter in the port. A squadron under Duquesne sent to reinforce them was attacked and defeated by a British squadron under Henry Osborn at the Battle of Cartagena. In 1873 the city formed a federalist government and was the center of the Cantonal Revolution, governmental forces besiege the city for several months. During the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939) Cartagena was one of the primary strongholds of the Republican Government and held out against the forces of General Franco longer than any other city in Spain, being the last of its cities to surrender. The city saw its industrial activity increased during the 1950s, resulting in more prosperity and this trend continued until a general decline in manufacturing throughout Europe in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
At the moment Cartagena comprises part of the autonomous community of the Region of Murcia, and is the seat of the Regional Assembly (Murcia’s parliament). It is also capital of the maritime province of Cartagena which was granted by the Royal Decree of 5 October 1607 under the reign of Philip III.
Public beach at El Portus. Although the city itself is only a port, within the city limits lies part of La Manga del Mar Menor (the other part belonging to the municipality of San Javier) which encompasses the Mar Menor. Cartagena also includes part of the Murcian Mediterranean Coast. Cartagena holds the distinction of being the Spanish town with the most beaches (10) certified “Q for Quality” by the ICTE (Instituto para la Calidad Turística Española). These beaches are: Cala Cortina, Islas Menores, playa Honda beach, Mar de Cristal, Cala del Pino, Cavanna beach, Barco Perdido beach, El Galúa beach, Levante beach and La Gola beach.
The wild El Portús beach is also near Cartagena’s municipal district.
- Cartagena's Holy Week, declared of international touristic interest
- Carthaginians and Romans, declared of national touristic interest. The main festivities of the city, a colourful Carthaginian and Roman parade full of events that reminds the famous Punic Wars and the conquest of the city by both Empires.
- Cartagena celebrates the day the very first majoress was declared they have parties to celebrate and they invite strangers into their house.