Cartagena (Kartahay'na), a fortified seaport of Spain, on a bay of the Mediterranean, 326 miles SE. of Madrid by rail. The hill-protected harbour is one of the best in the Mediterranean, its entrance narrow, and commanded by a fortified island on the south. Cartagena was formerly the largest naval arsenal not only in Spain but in Europe. It presents a Moorish aspect in its streets, its cathedral, and its ruined castle, and has manufactures of ropes, sailcloth, and glass, besides extensive blast-furnaces and smelting-works. Population, 86,500. Cartagena was built by Hasdrubal 242 B.C., under the name of New Carthage. It formed the headquarters of the Carthaginians in Spain, but in 210 B.c. was captured by P. Scipio, and became of importance under the Romans, who employed 40,000 men daily in the neighbouring mines. It was sacked by the Goths, and did not again attain any note until Philip II.'s reign. From July 1873 to January 1874 it was held by a communist junta.
Cartagena, capital of the Colombian state of Bolivar, stands on a sandy island, to the SW. of the mouth of the Magdalena, and communicates by four bridges with its suburb, Jetsemani, on the mainland. It has a fine cathedral, a university, and the best harbour on the coast. Its trade has greatly fallen off since the rise of Sabanilla; but much was expected from the reopening of a canal connecting it with Calamar, on the Magdalena. Founded in 1533, it was burned by Drake in 1585, but in 1741 repulsed an attack by Admiral Vernon. Pop. 20,000.