Cartagena is a Mediterranean city and naval station located in the Region of Murcia, southeastern Spain. As of 2009, it has a population of 211,996, making it the second largest city in the Region, the 6th among the non-province capitals of Spain, and the 24th overall.
Cartagena has been the capital of the Spanish Navy's Maritime Department of the Mediterranean since the arrival of the Spanish Bourbons in the 18th century. As far back as the 16th century it was one of the most important naval ports in Spain, together with Ferrol in the North. It is still an important naval seaport, the main military haven of Spain, and there is a big naval shipyard.
Cartagena was known as Qart Hadasht during the Phoenician conquest, Carthago Nova (the New Carthage) and Carthago Spartaria during the Roman era and Qartayannat al-Halfa during Islamic Spain. It was the first of a number of cities which eventually were called Cartagena.