Cartagena is old. It already had an illustrious past when the Roman general, Scipio, renamed it Carthago Nova – New Carthage – in 209 BC.

Cartagena_Gran Hotel

The city is an important port and naval base but its glory days were in the past – a bit like Portsmouth and Chatham really! So when I visited Cartagena recently, I was expecting to see decrepit, run-down areas with old dreary houses. I was pleasantly surprised! What I encountered was a bright airy city with pedestrianised boulevards and decorative buildings. One road in particular – Calle Major – is particularly attractive with shops, eating places and 19th-century mansions with colourful façades such as Cervantes House and Llagostera House both in Modernist style. The Grand Hotel is another building in this road that has modernist influences and a spectacular dome caps its circular façade.

There are attractive and historical buildings throughout the city as well as museums – many of a naval and military nature. There are also a number of archaeological sites including Carthaginian and Roman ruins.


At one end of Calle Major is another extremely photogenic area – the Plaza de Ayuntamiento where the City Hall building is located. Nearby are attractive gardens that lead to the Paseo de Alfonso XII, which overlooks the marina. It is a pleasant place to sit with a glass of beer. The Peral Submarine is located on this promenade.

Peral Submarine

According to local tourist information Isaac Peral, invented the submarine in 1889. Whilst Senor Peral undoubtedly designed the fine specimen of a U-boat that is on display, the locals are wrong to allege that he invented the submarine – a Dutchman, Cornelis Drebbel, built the first one in 1620! Submarines were also used during the American Civil War (1861-65).

Cartagena – modernista building in Calle Mayor



ISBN: 1445225433 ISBN-13: 9781445225432 ***
Robert Bovington


About Robert Bovington

Robert Bovington is an English writer of travel books. These include “Spanish Matters” and “Spanish Impressions” Robert Bovington was born in Brighton, East Sussex, the son of Leonard and Audrey Bovington. He is the first-born and has eight siblings – six brothers and two sisters. Having worked for many years in both the telecommunications industry and the teaching profession, Robert wanted to take on new challenges. He and Diane decided to relocate to Spain and, in 2003, the couple moved to Roquetas de Mar in sunny Andalucía. However, lazing on the beach was not Robert's idea of fun - he wanted to explore his new homeland. It didn't stop there! He was so impressed with Spain, its countryside, its historic cities and its culture that it inspired him to write about his experiences. Robert Bovington has been married to Diane for over thirty years. They have no children. However, Robert’s short marriage to Helene resulted in twin daughters Carole and Sheila. The author is also a grandfather and great grandfather. Robert met Diane when both belonged to the Crescent Operatic Society. Music is one of the author’s great passions. At primary school he sang in a choir in a concert of Bach and Handel. Another of his interests is football and for many years he supported Brighton & Hove Albion home and away. His favourite premiership team is Arsenal. Other interests include information technology, writing and ten-pin bowling.
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One Response to Cartagena

  1. Reblogged this on Spanish Impressions and commented:

    Reblog of my Cartagena post of 23 Nov 2011

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