The residents of our properties at La Manga Club well know that our leisure offer is hard to beat. Without leaving the confines of the resort, you can have a glass of wine on a beautiful terrace, eat delicious meals from any number of countries, relax in our magnificent spa with its Jacuzzis and steam baths, or play a sport in our professional-quality facilities.
Still, sometimes it’s interesting to leave these fabulous environs and take a whirl through Cartagena, going into the center and letting yourself be carried away by the urban landscape. In this city with more than one thousand years of history, tradition and tales call to us from every corner. One unique excursion from our properties at La Manga Club is a Modernism route through Cartagena. Besides discovering corners that reveal the city’s past, you can enjoy impressive buildings filled with charm that are representative of an architectural period perhaps less well known than the Gothic or the Classical, but that deserves no less praise or admiration: Modernism.
The origins of the Modernist route in Cartagena
To understand the origins of this route, we have to travel back a bit in time, to 1873, when a revolution arose in Cartagena whose aim was to turn the city into an independent region. In order to suppress the uprising, the Government troops bombed the city incessantly, destroying the vast majority of the historical center.
This unfortunate occurrence did have, however, a silver lining, which was that it provided an opportunity to completely rebuild the city with the materials extracted from the newly established and increasingly productive mines of Cartagena-La Union. So the city was filled with buildings constructed in the architectural style that was causing a furor at the end of the XIX century in Spain: Modernism, a movement that helped to elevate Gaudí and his legacy in Barcelona.
It is an eclectic style, where creative liberty plays protagonist within the framework of a very particular proportionality, often including decorative elements and symbols of all kinds. In Cartagena, they constructed hotels, factories, educational centres, a new city hall, a tram station…and these are just a few of the buildings that are well worthy of your adminration and attention if you go on an excursion from your properties at La Manga Club and take a tour of Cartagena.
The most important sites on the itinerary
There are any number of buildings worthy of a visit, but among the most important are those created by the architect Victor Beltrí:
- La Casa Cervantes: though only the facade remains, it is interesting for being the first designed by Beltrí in Cartagena. It is located in Calle Mayor and its interior holds the library of the Mediterranean Savings Bank.
- La Casa Llagostera: also on Calle Mayor, it is recognizable for its wood and iron balconies and the tiles on its façade.
- El Gran Hotel: begun by another important Modernist, Tomás Rico, this building was finished by Beltrí in 1916. It is probably the most important Modernist building in Murcia. It is located in the Calle Jara and is currently used as an office building.
- El Palacio de Aguirre: in this building a part of the interior has been conserved. The façade is constructed of different materials and gives protagonism to color. It is next to the Plaza de la Merced and currently is the headquarters of the Regional Museum of Modern Art.
In addition to those mentioned above, there are other Modernist buildings worthy of a visit, like the Palacio Consistorial, designed by Tomás Rico, with a curious triangular structure; Casa Pedreno, with an aesthetic that is vaguely Renaissance and which has a very attractive variety of decorative elements; and, finally, other edifices that are not fully Modernist but that do incorporate elements of the style, like the tramway station and the casino.
In summary, this route through Cartagena is a more than interesting option for a day that you feel like taking a trip from your property at La Manga Club. Eat and drink well, and admire some magnificent examples of an itinerary that you shouldn’t miss.