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ex HARALD JARL ::: ex ANDREA ::: SERENISSIMA :::

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    Many buttered and jammy croissants and tea-cup refills later, there was an announcement over the speakers. The Spanish port of Cartagena had been closed but was now open and the Captain had been promised a pilot would be available for our re-estimated time of arrival. After lunch we could go ashore for a city tour excursion.

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        I think Sea Wind may have been delayed from her schedule when the port was closed.

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          Cartagena is also an important Spanish naval port.



          It's time to go ashore.

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            The buses took us just a short distance before parking by the gardens alongside the city walls. We walked around the corner into a square and were heading for a museum entrance on the right, opposite the imposing city hall.



            This sailor heading home seems wearied by his days at sea or the rough weather!!!!




            Here in the museum are some Roman remains found during excavations in recent years.
            Last edited by Seagull; February 27th, 2015, 17:23.

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              The excavations have unearthed a Roman Theatre which was only discovered as recently as 1988.
              Some sections of the seating are carved directly into the rock.

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                The theatre was already built over as early as the 3rd century AD. Even to the present day, Cartagena remains a rather compact city due in part to the survival of most of the city walls into the 20th century. The defensive protection of hills within the city and proximity of a fine natural harbour were also important.factors, while the surrounding area was rich in mineral resources.

                The intermingling of ancient remains with recent buildings fascinated me. Of course the same could be said of many other places of continuous settlement, but to me somehow felt more exposed and apparent here.



                I liked many a detail, for example this street art on the side of a building at the stage side of the Roman theatre - you can see its location on the left of the previous photo.



                Due to the topography you may then find yourself looking down from the Roman period into street layouts of later centuries.
                Last edited by Seagull; February 27th, 2015, 19:04.

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                  It's not suprising that examining a model of the Roman buildings was helpful in disentangling the story.




                  I remembered to take a photo of a section of the city walls as we returned to the bus.




                  The bus passes a promenade by a small boat harbour and I get a pleasing glimpse of Serenissima beyond.

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                    We are not driving far, and soon leave the bus again to take a lift up to Castillo de la Concepcion on one of the five city hills. The circular building below was a bull ring, and excavations have revealed that it is on the site of a Roman amphitheatre.



                    Next to it is part of the Polytechnic University, which, like many of the university departments, is housed in restored historic buildings.

                    Last edited by Seagull; February 27th, 2015, 17:15.

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                      Further again you can see the container port.

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                        Of course the best view is looking towards the harbour entrance and Serenissima!

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                          A little further round there is an auditorium in modern use, and below it the Roman Theatre we visited earlier. This panorama is actually the reverse of that in post #951, which shows the castle where I'm now standing to take this!

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                            Next the tour takes us to a tree-shaded square, Plaza San Francisco, and on one side, almost hidden behind a magnificent banyan tree, there is an equally magnificent building in art nouveau style.I loved the juxtaposition of that tree and the organic forms in the art nouveau style.

                            I was beginning to realise that Cartagena is as interesting for its late19th and 20th century Modernism as for the remains of Roman times, and my short time there has certainly opened up a wider view of Spanish architecture than just Gaudi in Barcelona. So currently top of my 'must discover more about' list is architect Victor Beltrí.

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                              More architecture:



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                                I love city walks like this. Wondering what's behind the green shuttering? Let's have a look...



                                On-going excavations are uncovering more of the Roman city, and here is the Roman Forum!
                                The entire hillside (an extensive area to the left of this photo) is included in the archaeological park, called Cerro del Molinete.

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