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britman Cartagena - A travel report by Brit
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Cartagena,  Colombia - flag Colombia -  Bolívar
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britman's travel reports

Cartagena Colombia – The Walled City

  18 votes
Page: 1 2

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Cartagena (population 1 million) is well located about midway on Columbia’s Caribbean Coast, it is a unique city filled with sun, sea and history. It is also Columbia’s premier tourist attraction. The city is connected by a series of bridges and divided by 17th century walls into an “historic old city” and a cosmopolitan “modern city”. The City was founded in 1533 by the Spanish conquistador Don Pedro de Heredia and thanks to its strategic position had achieved considerable importance by the mid 16th Century. It soon became one of the few South American ports to export the wealth of gold and silver in particular to back to Spain.

Favourite spots:
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Inevitably it attracted the attention of pirates and the Dutch, French and English all attacked the City. Sir Francis Drake, as much a pirate as anyone else, captured the town in 1586 with the aid of a thousand desperadoes and indulged in an orgy of looting and destruction in which much of the city was burnt down. Drake finally left when there was nothing else left to loot for Queen Elizabeth 1st of England. Cartagena had become the main port for the infamous slave trade and the first slave ship arrived in 1564 to send thousands of slaves all over South America.

What's really great:
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The old walled city has changed very little in recent times. Its winding streets lined with Spanish Colonial architecture with colourfully painted buildings are delightful. The city was declared the “Historical Patrimony of Humanity” by UNESCO in 1985 and it is easy to see why. The Church of San Pedro Claver dedicated to the Spanish born monk known as the “Slave of Slaves” or the “Apostle of the Blacks” who devoted his life to the welfare of the unfortunate slaves brought to Cartagena: he even begged in the streets for them. Claver was the first person to be canonized in the New World and his body lies in a glass coffin in the high altar. Visitors can also see the cell where he lived and died

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Highlights of the old city are:-
The Monastery La Popa,
The San Felipe de Barajas Fortress and–
Las Bovedas the dungeons – now used as tourist shops.

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Hilton, Laguito
Charleston or Santa Clara in the old city
Caribe is on Bocagrande Beach

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Many bars in the old town.

Cartagena travelogue picture
Many local bars and restaurants in the old walled town. – All cheap and cheerful
Café Frappe – try the balcony upstairs – delicious Columbian coffee frappe.

Other recommendations:
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Emeralds are extremely cheap and undoubtedly the best buy here – but beware - only buy from reputable dealers.

Published on Thursday April 22th, 2004

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Thu, May 19 2005 - 01:51 AM rating by ardelia

Hi there, great wrieup..I have, since watched the movie romancing the stone felt so excited about going there ti Cartagena. Maybe one day. Glad you liked it there..


Wed, Oct 20 2004 - 06:42 AM rating by gloriajames

seems like a nice place to visit. will tell my bf.... another *****

Fri, Apr 23 2004 - 01:11 AM rating by travelalain

Good information about the place.

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