Spotlight on Cartagena, Colombia


            Cartagena, Colombia, a coastal community on the Caribbean Sea, dates to 1533 and is noted for its magnificent city walls and numerous fortifications. The Ciudad Marmalade (“walled city”) should be the focus of any visit. The compact Old Town is ideal for walking. Wander through the Barrio San Diego (in the northern part of the old town) whose military storerooms, Las Bovedas (The Vaults), have been transformed into crafts shops.

            El Centro contains the Catedral, with a colorful bell tower, gold-plated altar and marble pulpit, the Plaza de Bolivar, with a statue of the hero as well as the striking Palacio de la Inquisicion. Since this was the area of town inhabited by the wealthy, there are a number of interesting homes, particularly in the area of the Santo Domingo church. There are many other noteworthy sights within the inner city.  The best thing to do is just wander the narrow streets as well as the walls themselves. 

            Just outside the old town, across the Puente Heredia, visitors will find the most important fortification in the city, the Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas, another fort, the Fortress of San Fernando, and a hill, the Cerro de la Popa which provides wonderful views of the town and harbor.


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