Cartagena is a port city and municipality in the northwest of Colombia. The city is named after the Spanish city of Cartagena and is also called Cartagena de Indias. It is the capital of the department of Bolívar and has a population of 1,075,000 people.
One finds in the old city many colonial buildings, including the Palace of the Inquisition, a cathedral, the Santa Clara Convention and a Jesuit school. Peter Claver, patron saint of the slaves, worked in and out of the school. The city center has been on the World Heritage List since 1980.
Around the city are a number of defensive works, including the castle of San Felipe de Barajas, built between 1536 and 1657; the city walls around the Old City (las Murallas); and the forts of San José and San Fernando, built between 1751 and 1759 near Bocachica.
Outside the city walls you can find the statue of India Catalina, a local Indian hero. In the south lies the modern district, on the peninsula of Bocagrande.
Due to the tropical location, the weather has little variation, with an average maximum temperature of 31 ° C and an average minimum of 24 ° C. Cartagena also has an average humidity of 90%, with a rainy season in October. There is about 1000 mm of rain per year.
Excavations show that this area is already around 7000 years BC. was inhabited. The Spanish explorers made several attempts at the beginning of the 16th century to establish cities here. The first successful attempt was that of Pedro de Heredia. He founded Cartagena on 1 June 1533. For a long time, the city was an important link between Spain and South America.
During the 16th century and the 17th century, Cartagena was one of the most important harbors of the Silver Fleet and therefore a popular target for buccaners. Thus the city was plundered in 1585 by Francis Drake; in 1697 by French admiral Jean du Casse.
In March 1741 the city was attacked by troops of the English admiral Edward Vernon, who advanced to Cartagena with a squadron of 186 ships with 2,000 guns and a Marine Corps of over 6,000 men, but the attack was repelled because of the powerful opposition offered by General Blas de Lezo, his garrison and the people of the city. Vernon had to withdraw when the arrival of a relief army, led by colonel engineer Carlos Suillars de Desnaux, made his position untenable.