The Beautiful Cartagena De Indias

The beautiful Cartagena de Indias

Due to its location on the shores of the paradisiacal Caribbean Sea, the Tourist and Cultural District of Cartagena de Indias has become one of the most visited in Colombia. As its name suggests, the passage of time has endowed this city with a rich history in which colonial episodes are mixed with pirate battles in the purest style of Hollywood film adventures. 

Cultural and historical value of Cartagena de Indias

The memory of the walls

Walls of Cartagena de Indias
Walls of Cartagena de Indias – Jorge Láscar / commons.wikimedia.org

It is almost unnecessary to explain why Cartagena de Indias was a walled city. Today, the fortification is still up and well preserved, but the population has exceeded its limits and these high walls have remained as a reminder of the days when they acted as a demarcation between the security of the interior and the corsair savagery of the exterior.

Cartagena Clock Tower
Clock Tower – Jess Kraft

The old city, as the locals know the historic center, still has the charm of those turbulent centuries. It is accessed through the famous Clock Tower, which was considered one of the most beautiful in the world by the British television channel BBC.

Passing through this gate you enter the beautiful and colorful Plaza de los Coches,  which used to be used as a parking space for carriages and horses.

Heredia Theater

Heredia Theater in Cartagena
Heredia Theater – Rolando Vejar / Flickr.com

This Italian-style building has great and identifying Caribbean influences. It was built on the ruins of an old church as a monument to celebrate the centenary of Cartagena’s independence.

At first it was inaugurated under the name of the Adolfo Mejía theater, but years later this name was replaced by the Heredia theater in honor of Pedro de Heredia, a Spanish explorer of Madrid origin who had founded this town four hundred years earlier.

The interior of the room is spectacular. It has striking stands decorated with authentic gold leaf, as well as with precious ornaments whose lattices seem to intertwine.

Inquisition Palace

Palace of the Inquisition in CArtagena
Palace of the Inquisition – Rolando Vejar / Flickr.com

Formerly this was the place where defendants were sentenced by the church. To this day, the Palace of the Inquisition of Cartagena de Indias is used as a historical museum. It is still possible to visit the different torture chambers, as well as the prison spaces where the prisoners spent their last hours of life.

The exterior of the enclosure simulated the decoration of an ordinary building to give an idea of ​​normality. The only perceptible difference that can give a clue to the horrors that were experienced in their rooms are the bars that cover each and every one of their windows and the huge gates with which it was possible to prevent the escape of the prisoners.

Castle of San Felipe de Barajas

Castle of San Felipe de Barajas in Cartagena
Castle of San Felipe de Barajas – Jess Kraft

This bastion, whose walls date back to the 17th century, is one of the most visited sites in the town. It is located on the top of the San Lázaro hill and is considered one of the seven wonders of Colombia.

Furthermore, this fortification was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco due to the grandeur of its layout and structure, as it is one of the most complex and complete in South America. Thanks to the enormous height of the mountain and the set of its walls, the construction became a practically impregnable point during the Golden Age.

Islands and beaches of Cartagena de Indias

Rosario Islands

Rosario Islands in Cartagena
Rosario Islands – María Isabel Flórez / Flickr.com

The Rosario Islands are protected, as they are part of the Rosario Islands Corales Natural Park. This gives an idea of ​​the richness of its fauna and flora.

In addition to suggestive coral reefs, it also has rich mangroves and attractive wetlands. And, due to its  tropical climate, it presents a great diversity of ecosystems, ranging from lush forests to dry areas that surround spectacular inland lagoons.

Barú Peninsula

Barú beach in Cartagena de Indias
Barú – Photos593

The warm waters of the Caribbean Sea bathe the paradisiacal beaches of the Barú peninsula. There tourists can discover Playa Blanca, one of the most valued in Colombia. Its whitish sand blends on the horizon with the turquoise blue of the sea, giving rise to a splendid panoramic view.

The best thing to do is to spend the day relaxing, sunbathing and the occasional bath while enjoying the spectacle that nature offers. Few visitors can resist the good atmosphere of the place since the inhabitants of the surrounding villages have a charming disposition.

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