Cartagena or Murcia, your call!
With a population of 213.000, Cartagena is Spain’s sixth-largest non-provincial- capital city along the Costa Calida.
The monument in Plaza Héroes de Cavite, was inaugurated by Alfonso XIII in 1923 in memory of the sailors who died in the waters of Santiago de Cuba and Cavite.
The only colonial-style building in the city belongs to the Port Authority.
Palacio Consistorial houses the Town Hall of Cartagena. The modernist building was originally completed in 1907 by architect Tomás Rico, but suffered structural deficiencies, due to the fact that it was built upon land reclaimed from the sea. There are also 2 exhibition halls inside the Town hall, used for public visits , and this building is used for various public functions, concerts and protocol activities.
The red lighthouse sits on Navidad Levee and works in parallel to Curra (green lighthouse). Both levees and balises were built in the 19th century at the entry to the Port of Cartagena to help boats avoid the underwater slab.
Colonized by a series of civilizations including the Carthaginians, the Romans, the Visigoths, the Byzantines, the Moors and the Christians, the Port of Cartagena enabled the trading of the rich minerals mined from the nearby mountains as well as a vast array of other goods.
Once cannon was introduced into military strategy, a new kind of defensive network was needed to protect Cartagena from attacks from the sea. When the port became a permanent base for the Spanish fleet, this prompted the creation of four defensive fortifications at the mouth of the port to ensure the protection of the ships: these were the Podadera and Fuerte de Navidad on the western side and Trincabotijas and Santa Ana to the east.
The 18th-century structure has been used as barracks/prisons in the past. Today, the use of the building is shared between the Naval Museum and Polytechnic University.
The Panoramic Lift will take you in a comfortable and fast way up to the highest point of the Concepción Hill. The base of the Elevator serves as an entrance to the Museum-Refuge of the Civil War. You can also see the Plaza de Toros.
El Zolo is a memorial to the victims of terrorism, tribute to the train bombing in Madrid in 2004. It displays the victim as naked and helpless and thus completely at the mercy of the terrorists who would do him wrong. Did you know before it was placed in front of Puerta del Alcázar in Ávila, where i thought looked more impressive?
The Auditorio Parque Torres is an open air auditorium, located high above Cartagena at the foot of the Parque Torres. It's primarily used during Mar de Músicas festival in July.
Castillo de la Concepción, known as "castle of the ducks", built once surveil and defend the city, is today home to a center for interpretation of the history of Cartagena.
The Roman Theatre Museum has a capacity for 7000 people and was used by the citizens of Carthago Nova until the 2nd century.
The Royal Basilica of Our Lady of Charity is a temple Catholic of neoclassical metal and structure located in the city Spanish of Cartagena in Murcia. Its interior, dominated by the dome, is reminiscent of many spaces of the same artistic tendency, based in turn on the Pantheon of Agrippa. The origin of the Hospital de la Caridad dates back to 1693, when the galley soldier Francisco García Roldán established a congregation dedicated to caring for the sick in a house in the suburb of San Roque, moving in 1709 to Caridad Street.
While you're near the basilica, don't forget to check out the Molino Monte Sacro which operated since 1884 until the end of the 19th century.
Founded by the Moors in the 9th century, Murcia is a university city in southeastern Spain and the capital of the region. Let's see what it has to offer.
The Bridge of Dangers (also called, Bridge of the Hazards) is a symbol of the city. Built in the 18th century, it is the oldest bridge and joins the Carmen neighborhood with the historic center.
The Sardina del Segura looks like a big fish happily floating in the river Segura by the old bridge. This sculpture is a tribute to one of the most famous festivals in the city: the "Entierro de la Sardina" (Burial of the Sardine), which is held every spring after Easter.
The temple dedicated to the Virgin of Dangers at the end of the bridge is an icon for the Murcians to which they owe absolute devotion. They say that anyone who had to cross the river invoked the protection for the fear of the terrible floods caused by the Segura river as it passed through Murcia.
The Malecón Footbridge or also known as the Manterola Footbridge is an original steel bridge built in 1997 and is one of the new tourist attractions in the city.
Murcia Romea Theatre was built by Manuel Molina in 1862 on part of the site of the former Santo Domingo convent. It is named after the famous local actor, Julian Romea, as is the square in which it stands, built at the northern end of the Arab city wall.
Since the 15th century there has been a habit in Murcia to celebrate the market in the Arenal area, the Plano de San Francisco. This practice led to the permanent existence of Verónicas Market which was endowed in 1910 with a Modernist style building designed by the architect Pedro Cerdán.
Former Convent of Veronicas and Church of El Salvador was once the site of a primitive convent of Franciscan nuns dedicated to St. Verónica. With its façade, finished in 1755, the monument dates back to 16th century. Today it's converted into an exhibition hall. A section of the Veronicas Wall is preserved inside as well.
I'll try to summarize the many other churches and convents of Murcia in one go as there are many:
Parroquia de San Antolín
Parroquia de San Andrés y Santa María de la Arrixaca
Church of Santa Catalina
Parroquia San Bartolomé
Capilla del Pilar
Corpus Christi Monastery
Iglesia de Jesus
Convento de las Agustinas
Conventual Church of Santo Domingo is an ancient monastery complex. The facade facing Santo Domingo does not have an entrance door, it is in the baroque style and made entirely of brick, whilst the main facade has no similarities architecturally with the other side, as it is built in the Renaissance style and is very restrained, with its low hight making the two sides seem like two completely different buildings. The arch connects the Rosary Chapel with Almodóvar Palace, allowing passage between Santo Domingo and Julián Romea squares.
The sculpture in front of the towers represents the defense of human rights, through several carved people who hold hands, forming a sort of circle. It's the work of a sculptor from Murcia, Mariano González Beltrán.
Museum of the Church of San Juan de Dios is composed of three thematic areas: the church of 1781, the space dedicated to the sculptor Juan González Moreno, of the 20th century, the archaeological remains of the Alcazar Nasir (or Major) and part of the wall that guarded it. This palace was located within the wall and was the first residence of the Muslim kings of Murcia. The church was part of the hospital complex of San Juan de Dios, which was formerly a Templar hospital, and, originally, the Alcazar Mayor of the city.
Murcia Cathedral has many Renaissance and Baroque elements, although its interior is fundamentally Gothic. Created in 1394 on the site of a former mosque, the cathedral has a 95-metre tower that took more than two hundred years to build.
The Almodovar's Palace is a Manierist styled building of the 17th century. It was the Civil Government Headquarters until 1950. The most outstanding of the building are the two wild heraldic motif, also called "Tenantes".
Former Victoria Hotel from 19th-century by Juan Segundo de Lema, is one of the few examples of the Neomudéjar-style in Murcia.
During the Middle Ages this area was occupied by the Darajarife or Prince's Palace, a fortified enclosure built in the Muslim era. After the conquest of the city by the Christians, King Alfonso X El Sabio donated this palace to the Municipal Magistrates to build the Council of the city of Murcia, Casa Consistorial.
The Entryway of Huerto de las Bombas precedes a rural recreational palace whose name comes from the battle which took place nearby on September 4, 1706, leading to the Borbon triumph in the war of Succession. The main entrance, which is exhibited, has two Solomonic pillars with the architrave displaying the noble coat of arms of the first Marquis of Torre Pacheco whose quarters bear the arms of Fontes and Aviles, Carrillo and Marín, supported by lions rampant and huge and peaceful savages.
The Monastery of Santa Clara la Real dates back to the 14th century, occupying what used to be the old Alcázar Seguir of the 13th century. It is one of the most important historical buildings in Murcia, since it has remains of the Arab palace (the most important of the Islamic art from Murcia). The monastery also contains a Gothic cloister and choir, and a Baroque church. Part of the building is currently the Santa Clara Museum which contains a section of Andalusian art and archaeology.
Casinos can best be described as social clubs, locations where the elite, ambitious and monied can gather to socialize together in an exclusive environment. Murcia Casino can be visited by the public during specified hours and is an interesting insight into a world of exclusivity, as well as being a very beautiful building in its own right. This is a two-floor construction with a large iron and glass dome in the neo-Nazarite style, inspired by the royal salons of the Alhambra in Granada and the Alcázar in Seville. The façade, made from sandstone, with a plinth of red marble from Cehegín, was designed by the architect Pedro Cerdán Martínez. visitors enter the striking Arabic Patio, again designed by Manuel Castaños.
Other rooms such as the Biblioteca Inglesa holding a collection of 20,000 books, Congresillo, a meeting point for influential people in the economic and social life, Pompeyan (or Roman) Patio with beautiful sculptures, Ballroom, keeping its original design, ladies dressing room with silks from Lorca and a beautiful ceiling that is a work of José Marín Baldo (an allegory of the night, representing the goddess Selene) will drop your chin 🙂
Ready to find out more?
Check out my gallery!