Cartagena Spain is a City of contrasts, its rich cultural and military history merely a backdrop for the industrial and commercial activity which supports the second largest city in the Region of Murcia.
It's natural strategic port has offered shelter to traders for thousands of years, and the rich mines of the Sierra Minera provided a reason for the frequent wars which were fought in order to possess it, Cartagena still being a major Military Naval base today, as well as boasting a rich heritage of Military patrimony.The History of Cartagena charts it's development and the cultures which have shaped it today.
The City is developing a lucrative tourism industry based on the number of historical places which tourists can visit and enjoy, including the RomanTheatre Museum, ARQUA, MURAM, Casa de la Fortuna, Cartagena Municipal Archaeology Museum, Augusteum , the Molinete and other well preserved Roman buildings and Museums, major investment into extending the port creating a new market for cruise tourism.
However the port is also a major focal point for commercial activity, and the Escombreras Industrial area has attracted major businesses with the Repsol refinery, SABIC petrochemicals and Holcim concrete plants confined within a concealed industrial zone. Cartagenais also the home of the Regional Assembly.
The Campo de Cartagena is a major agricultural employer, flat irrigated areas producing salad crops, peppers, potatoes and courgettes, whilst non-irrigated crops include olives, carobs and almonds.
The more mountainous pedanías of Cartagena boast extensive areas of wild beaches, stretching around the coastline to Cabo de Palos, where the La Manga strip encloses the Mar Menor, giving Cartagena an extensive offering of prime sandy beaches with safe bathing conditions in Europe's largest saltwater lake.
This in turn creates a varied leisure industry, with watersports, speed circuit, the best diving facilities in Europe, and one of Spain's most prestigious Golf and residential complexes, the La Manga Club, all creating leisure and tourism opportunities for local businesses.
Cartagena Spain has a rich cultural offering, with an important Semana Santa, the Romans and Carthaginians Fiestas, Carnival, the Mar de Músicas and Cartagena Jazz festivals, the newly inaugurated El Batel auditorium and congress centre promising an enriched cultural programme.
Click for map, Cartagena Spain
There is often confusion on map searches as there is another Cartagena in Columbia. Cartagena Spain is located in the south of the region of Murcia and is a major port, as well as Industrial centre.
The municipality of Cartagena covers an area of 558 square kilometres, with a population of 218,000 making it the second largest population centre in the Region of Murcia.