romthe1jpegThe Roman theatre at Cartagena….Pretty damn imposing if you ask me.

On the big side?

Difficult to lose?

You’d think so wouldn’t you?

Well had you visited here in 1986 you’d have seen nowt but a handful of  Spanish worker dudes with pickaxes and shovels knocking down a tatty old palace that had belonged to Countess Peralta..(maybe she was down-sizing, an empty-nester? Who knows)… Anyway, plans were afoot to build a regional craft centre, (Spain really needs regional craft centres you know?) and the flattened grounds were earmarked as the site.

Now how, in all that’s holy, did what you see here get buried in the first place I’ve no idea, but, buried it got….Luckily one of the pickaxe dudes, lets call him Paco, kicked a brick and thought to himself “Ole, that looks like a brick from an ancient Roman Theatre”, (obviously I’m extrapolating from the facts a little), “I think I’ll finish my chorizo sandwich and dig a little deeper, Ole”…(The “Ole’s” are just for colour….. Paco doesn’t  really talk like that)….

Anyway to cut a long story short, in 1988  Paco’s thoughts were confirmed and clever dudes with degrees turned up, gave poor old Paco the boot, and started digging instead…..

This is the result of the spadework!!


If anyone can explain to me how summat that stands so far above ground could have been buried I would love to know…I stood at the bottom and ended up cricking my bloody neck trying to see the top…….Bonkers!

A few hundred yards away is the Colosseum you can see here.


Thankfully, they managed not to lose this, (maybe its a bloodsports versus thespianism thing , killing stuff seems inordinately popular even now), but even if they have managed to keep track of it’s whereabouts, I do think a bit of a kick up the bottom is in order when it comes to restoring it.

There’ll be more from Cartagena in forthcoming posts so do come back..

Give the shots a click they look so much better in a crispy new window..Thanks for popping in.

All Images copyright Stuart Allan Hyde.

  1. BagspackedI'moff

    Ok I could imagine losing a small building…say the Roman equivalent of a bungalow…but this! What a beautiful building. So pleased they didn’t put a craft centre on it. They can save that for when they find the bungalow 🙂


  2. scillagrace

    So, it looks like the outer curved wall is new, and the park surrounding it. What a great discovery! I hear that in Rome, they have a bazillion rules about digging because they’re always turning stuff up there. Having been there just once, I am convinced that they are in a gold mine of history, and I wouldn’t dare kick a pebble down the street! Beautiful panorama shot, Stuart. You must have found a great vantage point.


    1. Stuart Hyde - shpics

      Hi Scillabuddy
      Yep…new bits sit very well with the old don’t they?
      Good piccies of the job in progress here if you fancy:

      And I know what you mean about Rome…I was there last year and simply bent down to tie my laces only to be hurled against a wall by uniformed Caribinieri and searched, (enthusiastically and quite intimately), for a any illicit digging implement…They are known officially as the “forza archeologico” but more popularly as “The Trowel Police”…….Huge scandal only a few weeks ago when they water-boarded a three year old after he had carried a Little Mermaid bucket and spade into the Pantheon…..
      However thank heavens we can rely on their vigilance given the hoards of American tourists and their predilection for pebble kicking……


      1. scillagrace

        Thanks for the link! I do so with I knew Spanish…but the photographs of the restoration process are very interesting. The methods and priorities of restoration are intriguing…how much new material to incorporate and when to simply put the whole thing under glass, etc. Living history museums tend to go for a blend: protect artifacts but use reproductions to teach relevant concepts. I wonder if they ever stage concerts in the theatro in order to show the acoustic technology of the age?

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