Cartagena City Council starts work to restore the southern slope of the Despeñaperros fortress

Archive image of the Despeñaperros Fort in Cartagena

Cartagena City Council has begun the recovery of the southern curtain of the Despeñaperros fort in Cartagena. The work began in May with the removal of vegetation from this area next to the side of Antiguones.

The councillor for Heritage, Pablo Braqueháis, explained that “the historical heritage of Cartagena is practically incomprehensible and the main effort of the government led by the mayor, Noelia Arroyo, is to attend to it in all its dimensions”.

“The restoration of this fortress will be structural and will reach one side of the wall. In addition to rebuilding another part of the southern slope with the detached pieces up to the height of the cordon. For the first time we are talking about earmarking a significant investment for this fortress,” he said.

A large scaffolding is being installed to carry out the conservation work. These works are a further step in the execution of the Master Plan drawn up by Huma Arquitectos for the Town Hall, which will allow the fortress to be fully restored. This new phase includes the restoration of the walls in the southern area, preserved in front of the side façade of the former Antiguones Barracks, now the UPCT campus. They have partially collapsed due to the passage of time and erosion.

In addition, the artillery platform will be cleaned and the entire original facing will be consolidated. The volumetric replacement of the missing areas will be carried out, as well as the replacement of the section of the collapsed wall up to the cordon.

The Despeñaperros knight’s fort is a bastioned fortification, whose name comes from the hill on which it stands. The hill known as Despeñaperros is one of the five hills on which the Carthaginian general Asdrubal the Fair founded the urban enclosure of Qart Hadasht in 227 BC.

Its interest as a fortress comes from its privileged location in the defence of the city, created with the aim of covering the fronts, historically known as the East or Batel front, the Military Hospital, the Gates of San José, Almarjal and Castillo de Moros.

Its construction is unique due to its constructive singularity, combining the 18th century bastioned system with the rhythmic embrasured walls, typical of the 19th century. It is this singularity that marks its military constructive interest.


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