Cartagena is a Colombian city and capital of Bolivar. It is a port city that sits by the Caribbean Sea, on the country's northern coast. Cartagena's population is approximately 1,075,000.
It was on June 1, 1533 that the city of Cartagena was founded by the conquistador Pedro de Heredia. It has enjoyed great prosperity with the export of emeralds, gold and other riches. It was a commercial port for ships going from Peru to Cuba. In 1552, Cartagena was reduced to ashes and was deeply destroyed. The construction of buildings with materials other than rocks, bricks and stones was henceforth prohibited by Heredia.
Cartagena also attracted pirates and suffered several attacks for this purpose. To counter these attacks, forts and a wall were built around the city.
The population of Cartagena, like that of Colombia in general, is very diverse. We find African and Spanish descendants there as well as a large number of crossbreeds. The official language is Spanish which is spoken by almost the entire population. The predominant religion is Christianity, more particularly the Roman Catholic faith. There are Protestant groups, evangelists, Pentecostals, etc.
The historic center is not a place to be missed. It has several squares, magnificent architecture, rich remains as well as colorful alleys. You can also go to the fortress Castillo San Felipe de Barajas which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Also take a tour of the bohemian Getsemani district with its colonial-style streets. It has many shows and bars. The Cartagena Historical Museum is also a place to visit. It is located in Plaza Bolívar, within the former Palace of the Inquisition.
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