Defensive Architecture

Defensive Architecture


The projects and works directed by the engineer Esteban de Panón in 1740, focused on the defence of the harbour's mouth, its intention was to fortify and provide with artillery different coastal batteries, guarding the port entrance of Cartagena from Escombreras bay to Algameca. It was a defensive system composed by different batteries that complemented each other, with nine batteries:

  • On the "Right Front", San Fulgencio, Point of La Podadera, Navidad Fort, Espalmador (or Apostles')
  • On the "Left Front" San Leandro, San Isidoro and Santa Florentina, Santa Ana Fort, and Trincabotijas.

Feringán and Zermeño
Panón's defensive project left the Arsenal defenceless. Feringán Cortes took over the works with a global project for the naval base and the Arsenal. Charles III gave the order to Zermeño, whose fortifications were:
- Atalaya
- Galeras
- De los moros
- San Julián


1860 Defence Plan or O’Donnell's Plan
The works focused on the transformation of the harbour's batteries that protected the so-called Right Front. The whole defensive combination was Galeras Castle, General Fajardo, La Podadera, San Fulgencio batteries, and Navidad Fort, as well as Despeñaperros in the city)


1884 Defence Plan
The fast development of armoured ships made the batteries obsolete again, all this generated the 1884 Defence Plan, in which Krupp cannons were installed in Santa Ana Complementaria battery, Trincabotijas Baja, and La Podadera batteries, in addition to the Ordóñez howitzers in Fajardo batteries. All this reformed the architecture of coastal batteries, which were equipped with concrete casemates to be more resistant, and their height was lowered to offer a smaller target to enemy fire at the same time.

1912-1913 Defence Plan
The main objective was to protect the Arsenal and its refuge port, for repairing the fleet. Regarding to the defence of the sea front, the limits of the defences are extended, placing large-calibre batteries from Cabo Tiñoso to Cabo del Agua

1926 Defence Plan or Primo de Rivera's Plan
The constant development of armoured ships and the appearance of aviation, led once again to the reform of the defences of the naval base of Cartagena. Within the Primo de Rivera's Plan or the 1926 Maritime Defence Plan, the coastal batteries were arranged in groups of 3: an antiaircraft battery with four AA 105/45 cannons, to avoid the attacks of the enemy aviation, a battery with two Vickers guns of 38,1cm (the most powerful of the time) and a battery armed with four guns of 15,24cm