At the harbour, Isaac Peral's prototype of the submarine, the forerunner of our modern models, and the Wall of Charles III, dating from the 18th century. Leaving the harbour behind us, the Town Hall, a Modernist building dating from 1907, leads us to Calle Mayor, lined with Modernist buildings such as the Casa Cervantes, Casa Llagostera, the Casino and the Grand Hotel in Calle del Aire. Cartagena, Port of Cultures, presents numerous archaeological remains: everyday Roman dwellings such as La Casa de la Fortuna ("The House of Fortune"), with its restored wall frescoes; civic constructions such as the Roman Road and the Thermal Baths at the Decumano and religious buildings such as the Augusteum, raised as a place of worship for the cult to the Emperor Augustus; the Visitor Centre at the Punic Wall (third century BC), the only Punic defence structure that has been discovered in Spain; the 13th century Castle of La Concepción, whose Torre del Homenaje ("Homage Tower") houses the Town History Visitor Centre, featuring easy access via a lift-walkway. However, the most important sight of all is the Roman Theatre, an architectural jewel dating from the first century BC, which, alongside the remains of the Old Cathedral, forms part of a unique visitor centre together with the Theatre Museum. The Spanish Civil War Shelter-Museum is quite unique, offering visitors a fascinating insight into this historical period. Various panoramic views of the town can be enjoyed from the Tourist Bus, whilst the Tourist Boat also provides visitors with an opportunity to discover Cartagena's lively harbour. Municipal Archaeological Museums, National Maritime Archaeology Museum, the Naval Museum and the museum devoted to Carmen Conde. The town's military heritage deserves special mention, encompassing various sections of wall and various castles, as well as the batteries along the coast, located on the hills around the bay and in the surrounding areas.
In Cartagena, Holy Week, with its secular historical and religious overtones, lasts for some 10 days, starting on the Friday of Los Dolores, the day on which the town's patron saint celebrations take place. In July the International Festival of Music of the Mediterranean takes place, as well as the Mar de Músicas Festival, which presents different types of music from around the world, accompanied by some striking stage sets and fabulous parallel activities, and the Música en Clave classical music festival. September transports us back in time to the Second Punic Wars, with the local celebrations involving staged presentations of the battles between Carthaginians and Romans. Tourists can tour the town in the Tourist Bus and observe the fortresses and batteries along the coast of the bay from the Tourist Catamaran. They will also enjoy the town's beaches, such as Cala Cortina and El Portús, which provides the setting for a naturist camping-site in one of its coves. In La Azohía, we can learn all about fishing with tunny nets, an ancestral art of Moorish origin which is practised between March and July. There are also numerous trekking trails through natural parks, miners' trails, fishermens' trails and trails along the Roman Road of Atamaría. Why not visit the Regional Park of Calblanque, Monte de las Cenizas and Peña del Águila Regional Park, an exceptional expanse that runs along the Murcian coastline that is rich in animal and plant life, featuring terrain as varied as coves, extensive beaches, fossil dunes, salt-flats and mountain summits.
Local Handicrafts at the Regional Handicrafts Centre. Archaeological reproductions and wine from the Cartagena countryside. The magnificent cuisine of Cartagena offers us dishes as enticing as la ensalada cantonal, a salad based on salted fish and fish in brine, el pulpo a la plancha (grilled octopus), rice with cod, el caldo con pelotas (broth with meatballs) and the famous caldero, a traditional fisherman's dish, which is made by boiling rice in fish stock and adding garlic sauce. After dessert, it is essential to try an "asiático" or "Asian coffee": coffee, condensed milk, cognac and cinnamon, served in a special glass. In the countryside around Cartagena, visitors will find exquisite vegetables, fruits, pulses, sausage meats and dishes such as cabrito al horno (roast lamb) and patatas al ajo cabañil (potatoes in garlic sauce), which can be sampled in the numerous inns dotted throughout the area
The town's most interesting buildings were built at the height of the mining boom. The Mining Museum, the House of El Piñón, of Modernist style, and the Public Market, which is the venue for the famous International Festival of El Cante de las Minas. Mining landscape.
The town's superb cultural programme includes events such as the International Festival of El Cante de las Minas de La Unión, which takes place in August in the incomparable Modernist setting of the Public Market building, -now also known as the 'Cathedral of Flamenco Song'- converting the town into a veritable forum for modern flamenco and traditional flamenco singing, known as "cante jondo", every August. Visitors should also make a trip to the Sierra Minera, with its huge underground mines and open-cast mines, as well as the remains of various mining constructions, such as the unique "castilletes".