The castle is located in Cerro de la Concepción, one of the five hills which protect the city. It is known by people from Cartagena as the “Castillo de los Patos” and it was built largely with materials from the remains of the Roman colony. In the 18th century, ashlars of the Roman amphitheatre were used in the building process.
Inside the castle, you can see the Centro de Interpretación de la Historia de Cartagena. It consists of different elements that combine knowledge and entertainment thanks to the latest technology, and allow you to explore the city in a fun and entertaining way. All points of access to the rooftop of the castle have been adapted for people with reduced mobility.
Cartagena has 3,000 years of history and different people and civilizations have lived here. Through the several elements of this Centro de Interpretación, you will be able to know not only the history of the city, but also the present day Cartagena.
The Punic Cartagena, then called Nueva Cartago, was founded around 223 BC. Some years later, Romans were attracted to the city for the great richness of its mines. Thus, it was conquered under Scipio’s command, in 209 BC. Afterwards, it was stolen by the Germans, recovered by the Byzantines, taken by the Arabs and reconquered by the Christian king Ferdinand III in 1503. In the 19th century, Cartagena lived one of its flourishing periods thanks to industrialization and the maritime traffic of its port.
Throughout the years, Castillo de la Concepción has also evolved. The first records of its existence date back to the Hispanic-Muslim period, although the castle as we know it today was built during the reign of Henry III (14th century). Remains of Roman buildings such as pilasters, columns, tombstones, and some inscriptions were used for that purpose.
Subsequently, this castle used to serve as prison, powder store or accommodation of carabineers.
On the first floor of the castle, El Muro de las Sorpresas will show you the city from different perspectives, according to periods and people. Immerse yourself in the history of a special settlement in the Mediterranean Sea.
The exhibition called Cartagena en el tiempo will submerge you, through interactive panels, in the evolution of Cartagena, leaving an imprint on your memory. You will see how the people of Cartagena have evolved.
On the second floor, you can see the Museo de Ilustres. During the tour to the rooftop, we will introduce to you some of the most important figures in our city and their most emblematic works.
The rooftop of the castle is an extraordinary lookout, with the most modern observation and exposure techniques. Discover the most emblematic places as Polybius and Cervantes described them.
Immerse yourself in the water world. Don’t forget to visit the aljibes before you leave. These underground cisterns will surprise you and stay in your memories forever.
After the excavation and recovery of several rooms of Castillo de la Concepción, which were buried until now and whose access was unearthed in previous works, new exhibition spaces dedicated to the Medieval Cartagena have been added to the existing offer.
The new area, which has about 3230 sq ft, consists of several living spaces with different rooms, linearly connected, where loopholes of the medieval castle were.