Let's travel again - Cartagena and the abandoned and found history of The Roman Theatre


It is never enough! We can never get tired of traveling!! It can be a long-distance trip like we did this summer leaving behind us more than 5000 km of the road, or shorter distances. Never enough, really. You can believe it or not, just arriving in Spain after that summer traveling, I hit the road once again. Although, it was just a lot shorter distance, indeed. I went to Cartagena, and the reason for that trip was already shown in this post. A whole day, just me and a city that I have visited for the first time. Graffiti, many of them, as already shown... old town... history... I loved that day.




In this post, we will visit the Roman theatre and take a walk in some of the streets in the old part of the city. I say, old part, but compared to the long history of this city, nothing that is build in the past one or two centuries is old enough. Cartagena IS old by itself, and all the archeological sites show us that fact. That same day, I also visited the Municipal Archaeological Museum of Cartagena, but it will be a separate post on that topic. Way too much information and photos I took there!




This visit took place at the end of August, and in Spain, those are the hottest days. I tried to use every opportunity for being in shade but not so much of that was found. A bottle of water, a small backpack, and my willingness to see as much as I can from Cartagena.


From the place I parked, I went by foot through a long street, reaching my first destination. The Roman theatre. It was built between the fifth and first century B.C. Throughout history, that place has been used for other purposes, for example, for a marketplace. Probably because of a fire in year 425, it was abandoned. Later, in the sixth century, it was again used as a market quarter.



There is a cathedral, built in the thirteenth century, now as well just ruins left from it. What is especially interesting for me, well a bit sad too, is that until 1988 that theatre was not even discovered. Many places here in Spain had the same or similar destiny, roman places were abandoned, forgotten and until the end of the last century it was not even known that such great history can be found here, on the coast of the Mediterranean sea. The archeological excavations and restoration were finished in 2003.



This cathedral, now ruins, was built using materials from the Roman theatre. It was called just Old Cathedral, and the history of it was not very lucky. Being a cathedral, Catedral Santa Maria la Mayor, and later losing that title and becoming just a church... The medieval building itself collapsed in the nineteenth century and was restored in Romanesque style with modernist elements. During the Spanish Civil War, the church was attacked and damaged. Also, it was bombed in 1939 and unfortunately, it has remained abandoned since then. A pity for this place, that can tell us a lot of secrets and history of the city.




The former entrance to the church:



After visiting the Roman theatre and the ruins of the old cathedral, my new destination was the archeological museum where I spent a great time. A lot of history can be seen and learned, but as I mentioned, that place will come in another article. In the center, I found a small, cozy restaurant to gain more energy and continue wandering the streets of this city. Really nice buildings around, countless of these that I have seen.







However, in one part there were many demolished buildings. A whole neighborhood featuring just the facade and nothing behind them. I suppose, they were not allowed to tear down the facade, even though the buildings were in poor condition. If my assumptions are spot on, they do not have the money to reconstruct all the buildings now, and who knows how long they will stand in this state. I will check it on my next visit to Cartagena if there are some changes in this field. At least, some of the street artists found a place to express themselves through murals and graffiti.



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