The Cartagena Naval Museum is a military museum near the city port of Cartagena, Spain. It presents exhibitions related to naval construction. It is a subsidiary of the Naval Museum of Madrid.
The Naval Museum of Cartagena has recently been moved to a new headquarters located in the city’s maritime façade, in a privileged environment.
It is a historic building from the mid-18th century, the former Prisoners and Slaves Barracks, the work of military engineer Mateo Vodopich.
Since its construction in 1786 it has gone through different uses as the State Penitentiary Center (1824), Presidio (1910) or after the Civil War as a Marine Training Instruction Headquarters (CIM).
After the agreement signed by the Ministry of Defense, the Autonomous Community of the Region of Murcia and the Polytechnic University of Cartagena (2005), the shared use between University and Naval Museum is established. The space for the Museum is located in the southern half of the ground floor of the building.
The Naval Museum of Cartagena was opened on July 8, 1986. The original building was built under the direction of the architect Lorenzo Ros in 1926. Originally the building was used by the School of Apprentices of the Spanish Society of Naval Construction. They changed its name in 1947 to National Company Bazán. Later it became the school Our Lady of the Rosary. Later the Navy reclaimed the building and converted it to the naval museum. Captain Luis Delgado Bañón was director until January 8, 2011, when he retired. The current director is the captain of ship Jorge Madrid.
The museum has been moved to a new headquarters in the city’s seafront, in the former Maritime Instruction Headquarters, a historical building from the mid-eighteenth century that was constructed by the military engineer Mateo Vodopich. The building is in front of the Botes Basin. Since its construction in 1786, it has been the State Penitentiary Center (1824), Presidio (1910), and after the Spanish Civil War Barracks for the Instruction of Sailors. Following the agreement signed in 2005 by the Ministry of Defense, the Autonomous Community of the Region of Murcia and the Polytechnic University of Cartagena, the use of the building is shared between the university and naval museum. The space dedicated to the museum is in the southern half of the ground floor of the building.
The Naval Museum of Cartagena is headquartered in the former Barracks of Inmates and Slaves, built in 1786 by the military engineer Mateo Vodopich. Since its construction, the building went through different uses such as the State Penitentiary Center (1824), Presidio (1910) or the Maritime Instruction Barracks.
After the agreement signed by the Ministry of Defense, the Autonomous Community of the Region of Murcia and the Polytechnic University of Cartagena (2005), the shared use between University and Naval Museum is established, which is located in the southern half of the ground floor of the building.
In 2013, the museum is completed with the inauguration of the Isaac Peral Room, located in the former Arsenal Foundry Workshop. A building built in the 19th century to house the necessary foundry workshops in the new shipbuilding processes.
The museum complex is completed with the square that serves as a communication space between the two venues and the battery of cannons, composed of pieces of various calibres, which extends in front of the main building, recreating the configuration of the old battery of Costa del century XVIII. The whole complex is located in a privileged environment in the maritime façade of the port city.
The Naval Museum of Cartagena opened its doors in 1986 at the former headquarters of the School of Apprentices of the Spanish Naval Construction Society, a modernist-style building built in 1926 under the direction of Cartagena architect Lorenzo Ros Costa.
In 2011 the museum was moved do to its current location on the Paseo de Alfonso XII and two years later, in 2013, was inaugurated the Sala Isaac Peral, which completes the proposal of the museum with the addition of a space dedicated to the Submarino Peral and figure of its creator.
The Naval Museum of Cartagena preserves a collection composed of more than 3000 backgrounds of different nature and varied typology, linked to different fields and disciplines of naval history. The contents are organized in a series of thematic areas:
Shipbuilding: space dedicated to the evolution of construction techniques from medieval times to the twentieth century, through a tour of the different models of vessels linked to the Navy.
Navigation: area composed of a section dedicated to cartography since the end of the Middle Ages and another in which different nautical instruments are exhibited, most of them from Navy ships.
Naval Artillery and Portable Weapons: shows the historical evolution of the armament used in the old ships and warships.
Naval Health: collect sanitary conditions and medical advances in the Royal Navy. Different materials and instruments from the old Hospital de Marina de Cartagena and the Pharmacy and Laboratory section of the military units are exposed.
Flags and Uniforms: shows the history of the different flags used as a national symbol and their importance as a flag on ships. The exhibition of uniforms and their accessories shows the historical evolution of the uniformity in the Navy.
Naval Painting: offers a selection of works of naval theme that includes scenes of ships, marinas, historical facts and portraits of characters linked to the Navy.
Marine Corps: area dedicated to this military body of a naval nature created in 1537, in which a tour of its history is proposed along the many naval or land actions in which it has participated.
Diving: at the end of the 18th century, the first diving schools are created, with Cartagena being one of the oldest in the world. This room deals with the evolution of diving systems from the classic diver to autonomous diving and other underwater means.
Underwater weapons: analyze their evolution since the late nineteenth century and throughout the twentieth century, when the naval armament experiences a strong development. Cartagena will have a prominent role in this field as a reference center in the formation and construction of units related to underwater warfare.
Among the funds are some pieces that have a strong connection with the history of the city of Cartagena and the former Mediterranean Maritime Department. Special mention deserves the Peral Submarine, which since 2013, after its transfer from the seafront and its restoration, is exhibited in the Peral Room, accompanied by a series of panels, showcases and audiovisual media dedicated to the life of the inventor and his random history. The museum also preserves the valuable legacy of Isaac Peral, which completes and contextualizes the history of the submarine as the centerpiece of the museum. It also highlights the wide collection of models of different boats that have sailed throughout the centuries in the service of the Navy, among which a magnificent ship model built in the eighteenth century deserves special mention.
The collection extends between its halls, the lobby and the corridors:
Lobby: The model of the ship Juan Sebastián de Elcano, and the image of the Virgin of the Carmen which can be highlighted, are two emblems of the Spanish Navy, as well as varied objects.
Halls: Contains exhibits of ammunition and masks used in the first half of the century.
Arsenal Room: This room exhibits planes, carpentry tools and a riverside smithy, workshops of rigging and candles, maneuvering elements and models of sailing ships, relics from the ships Nuestra Señora de Atocha and Santa Margarita, and historic documents.
Isaac Peral: Room dedicated to Isaac Peral, which shows flat documents and personal objects that are part of the National Heritage, as well as model paintings of the submarine and a portrait of Isaac Peral.
Marine Infantry Room: Contains collected tables that show the actions and battles in which the marine infantry actions throughout Spanish history. There are also photographs of the marines and a section dedicated to their bands, weapons and uniforms.
Cartography and Navigation Room: Copies of manuscripts of maps, letters and objects such as a rudder of a nineteenth-century war steamer, telegraphs, sextants, navigation publications, a collection of logs, and two ships.
The Navy Diving Room: Reviews the history of diving in the Navy, and displays various objects on this subject and its evolution.
19th Century: Shows the agitation that occurred in nineteenth century Cartagena, dealing with political issues, military campaigns to Cuba, and remains of the bombing suffered in Cartagena in 1873.
Submarine room: Exhibits models of almost all the submarines that participated in the navy, objects such as: batteries, submarine planes, recovery bells, rescue, torpedoes of the Spanish submarine Narciso Monturiol (S-35).
History of the submarine weapon: Exhibits objects that show the development of the Spanish submarine fleet: torpedoes, propellers, pictures, crockery, cutlery, periscopes, rudders.
Armament room: This room displays the armament of the Navy, including weapons, ammunition and ammunition.
Hall flags and uniforms: Flags are displayed that are linked to the former Maritime Zone of the Mediterranean, as well as uniforms and models of ships
Naval Health Room: Various objects of the old hospital of nuns: a Sacred Heart, portraits of doctors, heroes of war, ancient documentation, ordinances of the College of Surgery, uniforms of the eighteenth century, models.
The Naval Museum of Cartagena preserves collections of different nature and varied typology, linked to different fields and disciplines of naval history: shipbuilding and arsenals, nautical sciences, artillery, mine warfare, health, uniforms and flags, music, painting, submarines, diving, history of the building and aspects related to the Navy today.
Among the funds are some pieces that have a strong connection with the history of the city of Cartagena and the former Mediterranean Maritime Department.
It highlights the valuable legacy of the lieutenant of the ship Isaac Peral, as well as the magnificent model of the Septentrión ship, from the 18th century, and the wide collection of riverbank carpentry tools used in shipbuilding during the 18th and 19th centuries.