Fajardo Battery, locally known as Cuartel Defensivo y Baterías General Fajardo, lies on a hill next to bay of the city of Cartagena in the province of Murcia in Spain.
Cartagena was founded in the 3rd century BC by the Carthaginian general Hasdrubal the Fair. It was built at the site of a natural harbour. As far back as the 16th century it was one of the most important naval ports of Spain. During the 18th century the city was heavily fortified which resulted in the building of lots of forts and batteries on the hills and mountains around the harbour. At present the city is still the headquarters and main military port, also for submarines, of the Spanish Navy and it possesses a large military shipyard.
The first building activity on this, 94 meter high, hill went on during the construction of Galeras Fort on a mountain north of it, in the 3rd quarter of the 18th century, when 3 small batteries were built here. When Galeras Fort was finished, they were abandoned.
In 1860 a Defense Plan was presented; studies by military engineers concluded there was an urgent need to modernize the city's defenses. During the following years the Fajardo Battery was built. To house and protect the large numbers of soldiers it included defensive barracks. Rapid technological advances in arms left the battery to be quickly out of date shortly after its completion. So, shortly before the beginning of the 20th century, the battery was reformed and then was armed with 2 howitzers and 16 cannons.
The Fajardo Battery played a small part in the events during the Spanish Civil War in the 1930's. The battery lost its military importance in 1960 when the last howitzers were removed. From then on the battery was only used to store ammunition. In 1994 it was finally abandoned all together and quickly fell to ruin.
At present the Fajardo Battery is freely accessible. The mountain itself is signposted as a military area, although it is freely accessible. A very nice fortification, I especially liked the defensive barracks. The whole site is wonderful to explore. Below it, to the east, lies Navidad Fort.