Roman Theater

The biggest monument in Cartagena is the Roman Theater. The Roman Theater was ordered built by Augustus Caesar and the construction took place between 5 and 1 A.D. The theater was dedicated to Lucio and Cayo Caesar, the nephews of the Emperor. The theater could hold 6000 people.

In October of 1988, the city was going to construct a new building on the site and discovered that there were remains from Byzantine, Arab, and medieval times, and below all of these they found the Roman Theater. This was one of the greatest archaeological discoveries in Spain in recent times. The reason that the theater was not discovered earlier is that its location was in a part of the city that had been continuously occupied since Roman times. The theater was built on the side of one of the town's highest hills.

The site was restored very well and it was found that 60% of the original materials were found on the site. The restoration finished in 1988, and its museum was also finished. The entrance to the Roman Theater Museum of Cartagena is located in the Pascual de Riquelme Palace, which was a Baroque looking palace built by the architect Tomas Rico. The famous architect Rafael Moneo built a tunnel underground to connect the palace with the Roman theater, which is more than a block away. When one enters the Roman Theater from the top of the stands, one is highly impressed by the theater, one of the best preserved in Spain. Towering above it are the ruins of the walls of the Cathedral of Santa Maria la Vieja, which was destroyed during the Spanish Civil War.