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Castillo de Atalaya, Cartagena (Cartagena Tourism Board)


La Catedral

Those who would worship there often regret
this ancient space is never quite restored.
There’s only access when a concert’s on.
Its saintly bones are packed and stored elsewhere.

The gentlest chamber music fits this place
but rock and roll may be a little much,
excessive for a small and holy space.

Much damaged by fire during the Civil War.
The moderner church of Caridad was saved
by prostitutes and mayor blocking the doors,
refusing entry to the soldiers there.
A shame they couldn’t also hold this one.

For years, a homeless man slept in these walls,
his mattress lying at the foot of Christ.
Some jokers called him the cathedral’s Dean.
“Paco the Turnip” had strange memories
of chests containing burial remains.

A very ancient church, perhaps Spain’s first
may lie beneath this mix of different styles
ranging from Romanesque to Art Nouveau.
The passage linking to the theatre
put paid to excavating properly.

The open old cathedral down the road
has a less special feel. It’s ordinary
and saints like tailors’ dummies line its walls.


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