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Bateria de Cenizas

The Portman Guns - Cartagena - Murcia - Spain
This excursion is really worth the trouble for a day or half a days trip ,The harbour at Cartagena has always been important for trade and the navy and hence heavily fortified since Roman times. On high hilltops either side of the city are pairs of very impressive British built Vickers and Armstrong 38.1 cm guns (in the style of the 'Guns of Navarone') which were used to protect the approches to Cartagena in more recent times


 The Entrance Guarded by Two White Soldiers

  One Of A Pair Of Vickers 38.1 cm Guns

 
The Ash battery is in the mount of Ashes, near Portman, within the Natural Park of Calblanque, in the municipal term of Cartagena, province of Murcia.
 
History


Before the necessity to defend the city of Cartagena, port and military shipyard, of attacks by sea, were constructed between centuries XVIII and principles of the XX a series of coastal artillery batteries, the majority fortified with bastions (of the Spanish school), and other casemated ones. Some of them conserve tubes of century XVIII and other enormous tubes of principles of century XX. There is altogether eighteen coastal artillery batteries, most equipped with artillery and the rest destined to light projectors for the air defense.

The battery of Ash-gray dates was constructed in 1931 on another previous construction of century XVIII
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 Vickers Gun Overlooking the Mediterranean ( Gun No 1 )

 Entrance to Shell Loading Bays

 
Description and characteristics To this construction of neoclassic style it is acceded through a great entrance of Mayan style. The entrance is inspired by the Temple of the White Soldiers of the ruins of Chichen-Itzá, having simulated gigantic serpents emplumadas with the head in the base and the crótales like capitals. In the interior there are several buildings, and the two identical guns where built by Vickers in 1923 with a maximum range of 35,000 meters and a tube of 18.6 meters in length and more than 88,000 kilograms of weight. Its objective one was the defense of the coast to avoid that the enemy approached a distance to which could reach the military objectives.

Protection Under the protection of the generic Declaration of the Decree of 22 of April of 1949, and Law 16/1985 on the Spanish Historical Patrimony.
 Bateria de Cenizas Loading Area No 2

 Bateria de Cenizas

 View To Calblanque From Bateria de Cenizas Gun No 2

 Bateria de Cenizas

 
How to get there:


You take the exit from the MU-312 towards La Manga Club. After a couple of km you drive straight past the entrance to the Club, following the sign to Portman. This road becomes wider with a green cycle lane, going up hill. The access to the gun footpath is at the crest of this hill (on your left through a wooden gate). However, you can't park there.

Just before you reach the crest there is a small road off to your right signposted to Llano del Beal. (This road is great fun if you're in a hire car.) About 50m up this road there is a large parking area on your left.


Please note that there are no facilities or information available at this site. The only access to the guns is by a footpath.Sensible walking shoes should be worn, the path is wide and shaded by trees, but it is a steady climb that takes about 40 minutes so it is advisable to take some water or soft drinks to quench your thirst when you reach the entrance, if you feel you would like to explore the underground areas from where the guns where driven by diesel engines and loaded you should take a torch as the tunnels are very dark,




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