Saturday, 4 December 2021

I have been to ... the Naval Museum, Cartagena

It is some years since I last visited the Naval Museum in Cartagena, and when the opportunity arose during our recent cruise to do so again, I jumped at it!

The museum is housed on the ground floor of an eighteenth century building that was originally used to house prisoners and slaves. After the Spanish Civil War it became the Marine Instruction Barracks, and in 2005 it was remodelled for use as part of the campus of the Polytechnic University of Cartagena and to provide a home for the Naval Museum.

In 2013, the former Calderería del Arsenal (the Arsenal boiler works) was added to the museum as the Isaac Peral Hall. The submarine that he designed was then moved from its former location on the seafront to the new hall.

The entrance to the museum.

The museum is divided into a number of thematic areas:

Naval construction (which contains a large collection of superb ship models)

A model of one of my favourite classes of battleships ... the España-class.


Naval artillery and portable weapons

The gun and carriage used for the funeral of Alphonso XIII.
Examples of an Oerlikon and a Hispano-Suiza 20mm automatic cannons.

Naval Health

Flags and uniforms

Marine infantry


Underwater weapons

A Schwartzkopff torpedo. It was made of bronze and manufactured in German by Eisengießerei und Maschinen-Fabrik von L. Schwartzkopff, later known as Berliner Maschinenbau.
A Hedgehog anti-submarine mortar or projector. It fired a pattern of twenty-four anti-submarine mortar bombs ahead of the ship carrying it.

The museum is free to enter, but they do request a 'voluntary' 3 Euro contribution to the cost of its upkeep, and it is good value for the money. The museum also has a small shop which carries quite a varied stock, and I left with three excellent unframed prints.

For a far more detailed look at the museum's exhibits, pay a visit to my blog posts of 2014 here, here, and here.

In 2018 also featured examples of some of the artwork on display, and this blog post can be viewed here.



  1. Thanks for these photos. The eighth one shows a model of D23, which was the ex U.S. DD 509 Converse. My father served on her 1944-1946 in the Philippines, off Okinawa and then back to Charleston SC for mothballing.

    1. NCC1717,

      Thanks for the additional, personal information. It all helps to bring the model 'alive'.

      All the best,



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