Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Cartagena. 1. The New Carthage of the ancients, is a Spanish fortified seaport upon the Mediterranean coast, in the province of Murcia, 29 miles S.E. of the town of Murcia, and 326 miles by rail from Madrid. The town is partly built upon a hill, and is separated from the harbour by a small plain, and is partly surrounded by mountains. Hills shelter the harbour upon the land side, while from wind and waves to seaward it is protected by a fortified island, which partly occupies the entrance. A ledge of rocks is in the centre of the harbour, which is in the other parts deep. The arsenal was formerly of great importance, but has lately been much neglected. The town, which is of Moorish aspect, is much decayed, but shows signs of revival since the establishment of a railway. A few miles from the town are rich mines, whose produce of lead, iron, copper, zinc, and sulphur make up most of the export trade. Esparto grass also is largely cultivated, and is used for ropes and sailcloth, and is exported in large quantities for the manufacture of paper. Cartagena has also numerous blast-furnaces and smelting-houses. The climate was formerly unwholesome, but has much improved of late since the draining of the marshes, which were a constant cause of ague and intermittent fever. 2. The capital of Bolivar, in Colombia, is on a sandy island on the north coast, and this island with another forms the harbour. It is connected with a suburb upon another island, and with the mainland by bridges. The harbour is the best upon the coast, but owing to the periodical silting up of a canal, which passes through a chain of salt lakes, and unites it with the Magdalena, much of its trade has passed away to a neighbouring port. The town is well built and well paved, although the streets are narrow, and there are cisterns of excellent water. The heat is great in summer, and there is a good deal of yellow fever. The chief exports are sugar, tobacco, coffee, and dyewoods, together with some caoutchouc and cotton. The town was taken and burnt by Drake in 1585.