Modernist and Eclectic RouteModernist and Eclectic Route


01. Defensive Architecture Interpretation Centre. Fort Christmas.

The fort –built during the 1860's to defend the interior of the harbour, the city and the Arsenal from attack by enemy fleets– is located at one of the points on the coast flanking the harbour entrance. The building, of neoclassical style, has materials explaining the importance of Cartagena along the Mediterranean axis throughout the centuries resulting from its geographically strategic relevance.

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02. Railway Station

The modernist decorative details –such as the ironwork on doors and columns, the cantilever roof and the Roman thermae-style window on the façade– are of special interest. The interior was also decorated along modernist lines, though all that remains today of the design are the ticket counter, the doorframes, the ceiling and the lamp.


03. Aguirre House Regional Museum of Modern Art-MURAM

The highlight of this building is the tower topped by a shiny dome. Under the tower are two profusely decorated façades, covered in rococo ceramic motifs. The bees on the tower are a symbol of industry. On the inside, the main floor constitutes the focus of the visit. The Regional Museum of Modern Art occupies part of this building and an annex, thus linking the concept of modernity in the continent and in the content.


04. Caridad Basilica

Once the church of the Caridad Hospital, in its present form it has a Neoclassical style and a metal structure. The interior is dominated by the dome, a typical feature of many Neoclassical buildings, whose model was Agrippa's Pantheon in Rome. The basilica is the home of the city's patron saint, the Virgin of Sorrow, an 18th century image sculpted in Naples. There are several sculptures by Salzillo and his school, including the Crucifixion, the Rococo altarpiece in the Comunión Chapel and the canvases painted by Manuel Wssell de Guimbarda in 1893.


05. Maestre House

The façade is the only reminder of the house's original design, it was inspired by the Casa Calvet by Gaudí with a few touches of Baroque. The Rococo decorations around the main door, the belvedere and windows in the central section are especially notable.


06. Grand Hotel

Built in the style of the Viennese and French modernist schools, the hotel has two façades joined by a rotunda crowned with a spectacular dome. The monotony of the hotel's six floors is broken by the use of alternating colours and decorative details, such as the ironwork on doors and marquee.


07. Clares House

The building was designed by the Cartagena-born architect Mario Spottorno. The façade facing Aire Street has a cornice stained glass windows, floral decorations and groundfloor capitals, which are typical of the modernist period.


08. City Hall

A triangular-shaped building with three different façades, the official nature of the edifice is underscored by its eclectic construction. Inside, the modernist style is evident in the paintings and decorative details in the grand entrance hall and on the 2nd floor.


09. Cervantes House

Victor Beltri's opera prima, this enormous house dominates the other buildings on the street. The façade contains the white belvederes so typical of Cartagena. There are dozens of symbols relating to commerce, industry and mining


10. Casino

The 18th century doorway is the only reminder left of the building's origins as the house for the Marquis of Casatilly, which was finally remodelled by Víctor Beltrí around 1897. Inside, the highlight is the patio ringed by a second floor gallery. Decorations and furnishings are modernist.


11. Llagostera House

The façade of this building constructed in 1916 was designed to support ceramic decoration. The structure is in the Cartagena style, with balconies at the front and belvederes on the sides. The ceramic work by Gaspar Polo reproduces the allegorical figures of Minerva and Mercury and the coats of arms of Barcelona, Murcia, Cartagena and Manlleu.


12. Pedreño House

The house is reminiscent of Renaissance palaces. The central section of the façade is full of decorative details, including the head of Mercury, the crowned head on the second floor pediment, the enormous balcony on the third, and the lantern on the roof. The ground floor and entresol form an independent unit, linked to the higher floors by a series of decorative elements.


13. Dorda House

The façade, with curved mouldings and floral decorations, is inspired by the Baroque style. Inside, the most striking element is the Arab-style central courtyard.


14. Zapata House

The house was built in the Gothic-inspired modernist style typical of Catalonia, the birthplace of architect Victor Beltrí. Outside, one can see the columned doorway and crenellated tower, as well as the Viennese-style mouldings on the walls. There is an Arab-style glass-covered patio inside.


15. Urban Expansion Company House

Planned as an office and residential building, it was used as a centre to promote the area of the city then being developed. In its construction and decorative details, the building is eclectic in style.