• Fortuna House
    Wall painting detail
  • Fortuna House
      The road
  • Fortuna House

Fortuna House  Fortuna House

The Fortuna House will take you to the domestic environment of the Roman Cartagena during the first century. The different rooms that formed the house, the dining room where the family celebrated the banquets, the salon in which the lord of the house received his visitors or to the bedrooms and private part of the house. Their objects of personal adornment, chandeliers, dishes, among others, will help you understand the fashions and customs of the time.

At the same time, you will be able to admire the beauty of its murals and mosaics with a variety of reasons such as the Swan - image of the house -, swastikas, flowers or pomegranates. All laden with a great mythological symbolism.

General ticket: 2’5€

Reduced ticket: 2€
*Purchase on-line, Minors under the age of 12 years, Students up to 25 years, Youth and Youth +, Unemployed, Pensioners, Disabled persons, Family (2 or more adults + 2 or more children under the age of 12 years), Large family and groups of more than 20 people. 

Free entrance: 

  • Children under the age of 3 years.
  • Official tourist guides.
  • Members of the Club Cartagena Puerto de Culturas (except for activities).
*In order to benefit from the free entry rate, visitors must show current valid documents.


Estimated duration: 30 minutes

Schedule of guided visits:

  • High Season
          12:00 and 13:00
  • Low Season
          12:00 and 13:00
  • Mid Season
          12:00 and 13:00 

*Guided hours are subject to change. Consult at the destination.

  Rules for Guided Tours (PDF - 422,33 KB)

'Citizens of an empire'. Guided tour

Hand of a guide you will enter into the daily life of Roman Cartagena. You will understand how the inhabitants of Carthago Nova amused at the Roman Theatre, live entertainment and pleasure of the spa or banquets in the Roman Forum District and meet their most intimate life and customs by visiting the Fortuna House, a house decorated by beautiful mosaics and paintings.

More Information


Building the Roman City

Students will build a model as they dive headfirst into ancient Carthago Nova and learn about its most important buildings.

More Information



Tourism for all is one of the primary objectives of the Cartagena Puerto de Culturas. We are working to ensure access to the largest number of visitors. At present, the Fortuna House offers to its visitors with special needs the following facilities:

  • Availability of stair lift. 
  • Special toilet.
  • Audio-visuals with sub-titles (Spanish and English) for people with hearing disabilities.
  • Reduced rate to those with disabilities, presenting official proof at the box office.
  • Guide dog access allowed with the corresponding accreditation.
Audio guides

Enjoy your visit with the audio-guide provided by the Fortuna House. Thanks to the new technologies your visit will be in your own time, free and comfortable. The audio guide is available in 4 languages: Spanish, English, French and Russian. Its price is 1'50€.

Historical context  

The granting of the colonial status (Cologne Urbs Iulia Nova Carthago) in the year 54 BC marked the beginning of an intense process of urban development that would culminate in the reign of Augustus. In this monument of maximum splendour (First century before Christ). – s. II A.D.), the City of Carthago Nova, came to occupy the full extent of the old peninsula, it was equipped with a new road network and all kinds of facilities: in the western half there proliferated public buildings, forum, temples, buildings such as the theatre; the eastern half was the residential area with the construction of housing for the wealthy families. 

The architecture of the Roman colony repeated, although with changes, the italicized models, i.e., insulae, domus and villae. These types of housing were consistent with the economic level of the inhabitants. The insulae, buildings of small houses in various heights and normally built for rent, were inhabited by the poorer classes. For its part, the wealthy families lived in the domus, urban residences of one or two floors, or in the villae or weekend cottages located on the outskirts of cities and associated with some farming, fishing or mining.

Fortuna House

The construction of the Fortuna House links it with the urban development during the time of Augustus toward the end of the first century B.C. In the following century it was reformed both in its decorations and in its structure, leading to the abandonment as a result of the crisis in the city in the 2nd century AD. 

The house is situated in a residential and central area of the Carthago Nova occupying an extension of more than 200 m². It is a domus belonging to a wealthy family, possibly merchants or richer freedmen. The house had two entrances, a front door or the iaunus, and a subsequent or posticum. It is organized around a roofed atrium whose function was the reception and a salon; its decoration consisted in mosaics with diamonds, and swastikas, and parietal paintings. This same decoration has been found in other rooms: a triclinium or dining room with wall decoration based on garlands and peacock feathers surrounding portraits of characters and the tablinum or representation. In this room it has been possible to recover the rich decorative programs formed by red panels interspersed with black inter panels, decorated with chandeliers on which pose little birds, swans with wings unfolded and naked male characters interpreted as satyrs. These symbolic elements were related to a demonstration of the social status of its owner, whose meaning could refer to deities or be simple decorative motifs. The tablinum opened to a small space interpreted as a lararium where tsmall altars for the domestic cult were placed. The sleeping rooms were small and had less decoration being the private part of the dwellings. The house may also have a hortus or garden at the rear. In this area the service door opened to a hallway where the inscription is found that gives the name to the place, "Fortune Propitia", that is to say, May fortune be propitious. This welcome greeting was to be read by people who would be coming through the back door. To one side of the aisle there was a room which, by its degree of alteration is difficult what its function was, perhaps a service area, kitchen, latrines or warehouse. Outside the house there were two spaces, a tabernae or shop, and a service area or possible kitchen which would be independent of the house and with its own access. 

The domus was bounded by two cardus or streets with a north-south direction from which one could gain access to the house. The roads are something damaged and with the absence of materials. This fact could be explained on the basis of two theories: the first would make reference to the Lex Iulia Municipalis by which the owners of the houses were liable for the construction of the street and perhaps take the materials for reuse in other buildings; the second theory would relate this abandonment with the social and economic decline of the city at the end of the second century A.D. when this sector was used as a quarry. In the street that led to the front door one can still admire the sewerage system with the remains of an amphora reused as a water conduit.

To help create an idea of how were the customs and culture of the time there are some of the pieces found in the excavations such as crockery, coins, and objects of personal adornment, chandeliers and weights.


The finding of the Domus, Fortuna House was made in two phases. The first phase took place in 1971 when excavations resulted in the discovery of a Roman road and the remains of two Roman houses. In the decade of the 90’s excavation of the site was carried out. These works allowed for the excavation of the the entire floor of the house, the mosaics and paintings that adorned and a new stretch of road. The first excavation was directed by Pedro San Martín, the second conducted by Michael Martin, Diego Ortiz and Mariona Porti. 

The remains discovered in 1971 and in 2000 were joined and formed a part of the museum under Cartagena Puerto de Culturas in the year 2004. These works sought the continuity between the two finds using the same criteria and determining refunds in order to minimize the presence of contemporary structures. The architectural adaptation was carried out by architects Nicolás Maruri, Atxu Amann and Andrés Cánovas.

The tour of the museums:

  • The pavements. A sample of how were the roads in the Roman cities. In the street that led to the front door one can still admire the sewerage system with the remains of an amphora reused as a water conduit. 
  • The house. A look at the various rooms that would make up a domus.
  • The showcases. The most representative materials of all found in the excavations, among which are: the vessels of the house, chandeliers, objects of personal adornment, weights of weaving machines or the sculpture of the brothers thatt would have been a decorative element of a table.
  • Soler Huertas, B. (2000). “Arquitectura doméstica en Carthago Nova. La domus de la Fortuna y su conjunto arqueológico”. AnMurcia 16, págs. 53-85.
  • Fernández Díaz, A. (2008). La pintura mural romana de Carthago Nova. Tesis doctoral.
  • Fernández Díaz, A. y Quevedo Sánchez, A. (2007-2008). “La configuración de la arquitectura doméstica en Carthago Nova desde época tardo-republicana hasta los inicios del bajoimperio”. AnMurcia 23-24, págs. 273-309.
  • VV.AA. (2009). La casa romana en Carthago Nova. Arquitectura privada y programas decorativos. Editorial Tabularium.
  • VV.AA. (2012). Cartagena Puerto de Culturas. Convirtiendo el pasado en futuro.
  • Quevedo Sánchez, A. (2013). “La domus de la Fortuna”. Contextos cerámicos y transformaciones urbanas en Carthago Nova: de Marco Aurelio a Diocleciano, págs. 252-282. Tesis doctoral.

We request your permission to obtain statistical data on this web browsing, pursuant to Royal Decree-Law 13/2012.
If you continue to browse we consider to accept the use of cookies. OK | + Info