Cartagena is a Spanish Mediterranean city and naval station in the southeast of the Iberian Peninsula in the autonomous community of Region of Murcia. Cartagena has been the capital of the Spanish Navy's Maritime Department of the Mediterranean since the arrival of the Spanish Bourbons in the eighteenth century. As far back as the sixteenth century it was one of the most important naval ports in Spain, together with Ferrol in the North.
It is a walled town and has a fine harbour defended by forts. In the time of Philip II of Spain, it was a major naval seaport of Spain. It is still an important naval seaport, the main military haven of Spain, and there is a big naval shipyard.
When it was taken by the Roman general Scipio Africanus Major in 209 BC it was renamed as Carthago Nova, Latin for "New Carthage" (which is somewhat humorous, as "Carthago" is a Latinization of "Qart Hadast," thus unknowingly the Romans named the city "New New City"). At the time Carthago Nova was said to be one of the richest cities in the world. The city gave its name (without the 'new') to the newest province in the Hispaniae diocese, in the form of an adjective: Carthaginiensis.
In 1873, the garrison arose against the First Spanish Republic and formed the Cartagena Canton. Since they had the best part of the Spanish Navy, they cruised the Spanish Mediterranean trying to bring them to Cantonalism. The Federalist Spanish government declared them a pirate fleet, encouraging foreign countries to chase and sink them.
Cartagena has many archaeologic sites. Ruins identified as a temple to Melqart have been uncovered. Throughout the old centre, there are museums with remains of Roman buildings.