Yesterday we stopped at Cartagena. Having had to divert from the Italian ports, we got some more Rome yesterday in Cartagena. In 1991 they discovered that there was something Roman underneath layer upon layer of buildings, going back 2000 years.
A large church even impinged on the area they were interested in. So after removing all the ( really shoddy ) flats that were there In 1991, and then underneath those layer upon layer of building works, they found a very much intact Roman open air theatre that would have accommodated 7000 people.
This is now open to visitors, and yes they have lifts too, so even I could have a wander around.
As later builders ransacked/ reused the Roman blocks and pillar segments there were all sorts of walls and raised areas made out of incredible pieces of carved Roman architecture, that had just been used as hardcore upon which to build really basic housing. To see what was there in terms of architecture 2 millennia later, it does pose the question ‘ how much had we really progressed?’

All the places we have stopped at have had beautiful architecture, and it’s all very different to the UK. Narrow alleyways seem to in all these cities. We like our big gaps between houses in the UK. People don’t like their neighbours too close. Having buildings close together and then long narrow walkways makes for very shady and therefore cool area between the buildings. We don’t have that ‘ it’s too hot ‘ problem in Britain… maybe in a hundred years we’ll build stuff differently… once climate change has made it 35 degrees Centigrade at Christmas?

Imagine living in a really bad flat one year, with really poor quality buildings right next to you, and then a few years later having a Roman theatre to look at out yer toilet window..?!

2 thoughts on “Cartagena

  1. That looks fantastic. You lucky duck, getting to visit it. 🙂 I’ve been fascinated by the idea of Cartagena since I first heard about it in a history podcast. (I love a good podcast.)(Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History, in case you’re looking for something new to listen to.)
    You know Hannibal, who went over the Alps with elephants to go attack Rome? He was Carthaginian. I should be a QI elf. (Dream job!)

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