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Bring Down the Walls of Cartegena

Oct 9, 2007
In the 16th century, Cartagena was a prominent Spanish port and was the principal storage depot for precious treasure plundered by the Spanish from the Indians of Central and South America. Treasure was stored in Cartagena until it could be transported back to Spain. As a result, Cartagena was regularly attacked by hordes of pirates operating throughout the Caribbean. Such prominent buccaneers as Sir Francis Drake and Edward Vernon sacked it repeatedly. To defend against such attacks, the Spaniards built a series of fortresses and walls around the city. The walls required almost two centuries to complete and were finished a mere 25 years before the Spanish were first expelled from the city. Today Cartagena's old town remains surrounded by the battle-scarred Las Murallas (the walls).

But even in modern times, every year, thousands of visitors still storm the walls of old Cartegena in search of treasure. In this case, its treasure lied in its many cobbled streets, charming cafes, plazas of cascading bouganvilla, and its historical sites. This treasure offers the visitor an experience unparalleled along the Caribbean coastline.

The old city is in two parts the inner walled town featuring most of the colonial buildings and plazas and the outer walled town of Getsemani. Getsemani, originally, was the area where African slaves were housed. Now it features Cartagena's Convention Center, several historical churches, and the Parque Centenario.

Some of the old city's most notable offerings to visitors include the following:

Plazas: Some of the more colorful include Plaza de los Coches, Plaza de la Aduana, Plaza Santa Teresa, Plaza de Bolivar, and Plaza de San Pedro Claver.

Palacio de la Inquisicion: Not only a grand example of colonial architecture, it was here that the heretics were accused and punished by the Punishment Tribunal of the Holy Office.

Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas: Just outside the old city, this was reputed to be the largest and strongest fortress ever built by the Spanish. It is a remarkable structure and well worth the visit.

Las Bovedas: This is a complex of 23 dungeons built first to story military munitions but later used as a jail. It was featured in the movie Romancing the Stone (Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner).

No matter if you go to Cartagena just to see the old city or to search for one of the Galeones near the mediterrean cost you can be sure that there is a lot of nice things to see and do.

Dont forget that many decades ago Spain was one of the most rich and powerful countries in the mediterrenian therefore the architecture and the culture are very spectacular.
About the Author
Gaizka Pujana is the co-owner of Barcelona Homes, S.L., a busy holiday apartment rental business operating in Barcelona, Seville and the Costa Del Sol, rapidly expanding into Colombia and Western Europecartagena apartments
apartamentos turisticos Cartagena
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