FESTIVAL OF CARTHAGINIANS AND ROMANS -18th/27th SEPTEMBER

Cartagena is a beautiful Mediterranean city in a unique setting in south eastern Spain. Mastienos, Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians and Romans, Byzantines and Arabs have all left their historical traces and forged, with the passing of the centuries, the idiosyncrasy of contemporary Cartagena.

It is a bright and cheerful city where the sun shines for more than 300 days a year. Its gentle weather, with mild temperatures in winter, and the beautiful, rich variety of its landscapes make Cartagena a place of extraordinary tourist appeal, where one can also find interesting ruins, XVIII-century castles and fortresses, as well as late XIX and early XX century modernist buildings.

Cartagena lives within history but history is also alive in our city, so intensely that our people played a leading role in the events which took place in this region more than 2200 years ago, turning them into a unique festival in our country: Carthaginians and Romans.

This festival is based on the second Punic War and on characters such as Hannibal and his winning rival, Cornelius Scipio. Celebrations begin with the foundation of Qart-Hadast by Asdrubal in 223 B.C. and end with the Roman victory in 209 B.C. For ten days, all the heroic deeds which took place during the years of the Carthaginian rule, as well as the defeat and invasion by the Roman Empire, are performed and lived in an unparalleled atmosphere by natives and foreigners alike. Troops and legions represent the scenes of events based on the city history and perform grand parades in which the costumes and armaments one would only expect to find in film productions are there on the streets. In the second fortnight of September, Cartagena and its people get inside history and revive it for ten magnificent days in which the heroic deeds of Carthage and Rome are remembered. The scenes are usually staged at the very place in which the event took place in ancient times.

THE CAMP

In a huge setting, the 50 groups (more than 5.500 actors) who are taking the roles of the Carthaginians and Romans decorate the camp and put up bars open to all the visitors. In this way, the camp becomes a big city set in ancient times where the art and symbols of Rome and Carthage, Greece, Iberia and Phoenicia are found all around. Joy, hustle and entertainment are the stars of these nights where one can eat and drink with Scipio himself, share a wedding cake with Hannibal, witness the kidnap of a beautiful damsel or the invasion of enemy tents by Carthaginian and Roman warriors. The Carthaginians and Romans Festival typifies the way of thinking and acting of a city which has managed to blend present and past to playfully re-live what it was.

Where to stay? Please visit Hotel Costa Narejos for details of special offers during the festival.