Cartagena commemorated the 450th anniversary of the Battle of Lepanto on Thursday 7 October. The Navy celebrated the victory of the Spanish Empire over the Ottomans by honouring the national heroes who fought with their Venetian allies and those of the Italian republics in the battle. A military ceremony took place in the Heroes of Cavite and Santiago de Cuba square.
The event, chaired by the Admiral of Maritime Action, Vice Admiral Juan Luis Sobrino, was attended by the Mayoress Noelia Arroyo and the President of the Regional Assembly, Alberto Castillo. Also in attendance was the councillor of the municipal corporation, Pilar García.
The ceremony consisted of the presentation of a laurel wreath next to the monument by the soldiers, who also paid their respects to the flag and performed the Spanish anthem, the Salve Marinera and the anthem of the Navy.
THE MAYORESS HIGHLIGHTS THE DEFENCE OF FREEDOM
The mayoress explained that “with this emotional act we have paid tribute to a glorious victory that is linked to Cartagena”. She also stressed the “importance” of commemorating this heroic deed. Since, in Arroyo’s words, “this event contributes to continuing to value the work carried out by our Navy. And, above all, to defend the courage, sacrifice and effort of those who had to confront the Ottoman Empire 450 years ago. As well as those who, today, continue to defend our borders and give their lives for Spain to defend our freedoms”.
For his part, Vice Admiral Juan Luis Sobrino highlighted the strategic importance of the victory of Lepanto, since “Lepanto is a glorious victory for the Spanish Empire, as it was the first defeat of the Ottomans at sea”. In the opinion of the military high command, this “made them stop their desire to expand towards the West”.
ENTRUSTED TO THE VIRGIN OF THE ROSARY
The celebration took place in the open air, respecting health measures. It brought together representatives of civil society, as well as members of the Royal Brotherhood of Veterans of the Armed Forces, the Friends of Lepanto association, the Tercios de Cartagena and the Heroes of Cavite association. The image of the Virgin of the Rosary was also present, as the Spanish combatants entrusted themselves to her on the day of the battle, as it was her feast day.