All of this week, the historic city of Cartagena is time-hopped to a time many years ago, as the annual Romans against Carthaginians battle is recreated.
Cartagena has a history of three thousand years and, immediately as the summer comes to a close, the festival begins. To relive the history of the city, the Festival of Carthaginians and Romans evokes various official events from the Second Punic War: the causes of conflict between the Carthaginian and Roman powers, the beginning of the conflict and its outcome.
There are a variety of different events throughout the entire week, including the rather bizarre sight of Romans on bicycles on Tuesday, but as we get towards the weekend, the action gets even more intense. A full guide is available from the tourist information offices, but here are some of the more traditional highlights.
Thursday – 20:00, Carthaginian Navy landings and the hiring of mercenaries. 22:00, Hannibal Marchs to Rome. Plaza del Ayuntamiento, calle Cañón, calle del Aire, Plaze San Sebastián, Puertas de Murcia, calle del Carmen, Plaza de España, Alameda de San Antón, Puente Carthago Nova to the Festival Camp.
Friday – 11:00, Sea battle in the Port. 19:00, Landing of the Roman Army at the port. 20:15, Battle to conquer Qart-Hadast, Cuesta del Batel. 21:30, Victory at the Port followed by Military March of victory after the surrender of the city.
Saturday – 13:30, Tribute to the fallen Romans, Monumento Funerario Torreciega. 19:00, Parade of Troops and Legions. Plaza del Ayuntamiento, Mayor, Puerta de Murcia, del Carmen, Plaza de España, Alameda de San Anton, Soldado Rosique, Puente Carthago Nova to the Festival Camp.
Sunday – 21:00, Extinguish of the sacred fire. 21:30, Firework display at the Festival Camp.
Please check the times with the tourist office are they were correct when the schedule was first published, but are subject to change.
Even just for a walk around the city, Cartagena holds many a secret that is waiting to be discovered and this event makes it even more of an attraction than normal, and so a time not to be missed.