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12·AUG·2012

Carthaginians and Romans Fiesta

At the end of September each year, the historic Murcian city of Cartagena relives a defining moment from its past, the battle for the city between the Carthaginians and Romans.
During 10 days of festivities, visitors can enjoy a living history lesson as the city’s inhabitants re-enact events which took place between 223BC when the city was founded and 209BC when it fell to the Romans. One of the city’s most famous residents was Hannibal and in 218 BC he left Cartagena with one hundred thousand soldiers and nearly forty elephants to march across the Alps to strike a blow against the Roman Empire. This turned out badly for the remaining residents of the city because the Roman Emperor Scipio took advantage of its depleted protection and attacked from the sea. This is just one of the events re-enacted during the festival. The whole city is in party mode and several thousand people dressed up like their ancient forebears carry out mock battles and parades through the streets. There is theatre, a facsimile Roman encampment, an artisan market, food, drink and fireworks. This year’s festival will run from 21 September until 30 September 2012. At the time of writing the schedule of events has not been published but you can get a great idea of what to expect at MurciaToday.com. The official festival web site can be found at www.cartaginesesyromanos.es.