Cartagena is a city in south-east Spain, located on the Mediterranean coast. It has been an important settlement since Roman times – when it was known as Carthago Nova (the New Carthage). Many different cultures have left their mark on the city throughout its rich history, with landmark buildings ranging from the Roman theatre of Carthago, to an eclectic mix of art nouveau buildings built in the early 20th Century. The city is an important port, but also has several beaches within the city limits. So as you can see, there is much to explore for expats living in Cartagena!
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Figures from 2011 indicate that the city is home to a population of more than 218,000, making it the 24th most populous city in Spain. Nearly 15% of the local population are expatriates. There are growing communities of non-Spanish citizens living and working in the area, and increasingly identifiable expat communities, so you will quickly be able to find like-minded expats when moving to Cartagena. You can find more information about living and working abroad in our Expat Magazine. The magazine covers important issues such as finance, cross-cultural communication and adapting to life in a different city. There’s also plenty of opportunity on InterNations to socialize with expats from all over the globe, and to use the site’s forums and discussion groups to find answer to any questions you might have. Find the know-how and support to help you start your new life in Cartagena on InterNations!
The military has had an important influence on the development of Cartagena – it has historically been the most important seaport in Spain, and the hub of the Spanish navy in the South. It is still home to a large naval shipyard, and an important site for the country’s naval fleets. It is thus considered one of the most important ports in the western Mediterranean, both in terms of defense, and for the merchant navy. The strategically located harbor gave rise to much industry and trading in ancient times – which is still in existence today, although the city has followed the general trend noted across Western Europe, where there has been a gradual decline in traditional manufacturing, and an increase in communications and technology based companies. There is also a growing tourist industry in the area. Recent local government initiatives such as the “Cartagena, Port of Cultures” have been developed to energize the city as a major cultural destination. Although it has previously been overshadowed due it its close proximity to other major Spanish coastal holiday resorts, it has recently begun to build a strong reputation as an important cultural and historical vacation destination, making the tourism industry another possible field of work for expatriates in Cartagena.