Cartagena de Indias, or simply Cartagena, was found by Spanish people after Santa Marta. Compared to Santa Marta, Cartagena has deeper front sea level which enabled the city to be more prosperous and more accessible by big ships. As a result, it has played an important role in the settlement of Spanish people hundreds years ago and still now it’s a valuable city in commerce. Moreover, located in the Caribbean shore, it is probably one of the most touristic cities in Colombia. Many cruise ships docks here for a day to look around the old town, so the streets are always full of people from around the world.
The Old Town
My first impression of Cartagena was very colorful and vivid. Like other Caribbean cities, the Sun was very strong and the air was quite unpleasantly humid. I am not sure whether I was lucky or not, but when I visited there it was pretty cloudy and even rained. Thus, it was less sunny but extremely humid like sauna.
The most common way to get into the old town is passing through a gate under the Clock Tower. Doubtlessly, the old town is the place where you should visit if you have limited time in Cartagena. Surrounded by walls, the old town has its unique atmosphere and it is another UNESCO World Heritage Site in Colombia. Passing through the clock tower, the scenery and the atmosphere was completely different.
Wandering around the streets
The center of Cartagena is full of tourists, though it has very relaxing atmosphere. Seeing gorgeous places, time passed by quickly. Look at this stunning yellow building. How can anyone pass it without taking a pause to appreciate this beautiful creature!
Even the street stores were chic and matched perfectly with the atmosphere of the town. The Uniform of James Rodriguez (World famous Colombian soccer player) caught my eyes.
The Inquisition Palace
Another interesting place in Cartagena is the Inquisition Palace. One of the three Inquisitions in South America : Mexican Inquisition, Peruvian Inquisition, and this one in Cartagena.
You can see torture equipments that used to non-catholic people or the Jewish under the name of guilty crimes such as black magic. The museum also exhibits some books which were forbidden to read due to the religious reasons.
Floor of Beauty Pageant Past Winners
In front of the Inquisition Palace, there is a park named Bolivar, aka the Plaza de Bolivar. It is a small park but it’s in the heart of the old town of Cartagena, thus it is surrounded all the precious cultural and historical architectures.
Acrossing the park from the Inquisition Palace, you can see a floor of Past Beauty Pageants’ portraits. The idea of putting portraits on the floor was a bit bizzare to me, but it was easy to see all the beauty pageant at once.
The Turtle Ship from Korea
Colombia is the only country in South America which deployed some troops to South Korea when we were in the civil war (25/06/1950). To appreciate the cooperation, the government of South Korea sent this gift to Colombia.
Cartagena is an absolutely lovely place I would like to go back again. Not only the old town, there are more things to see in Cartagena which I would like to introduce in the following post.
I hope you enjoyed the virtual trip to Cartagena with me. See you soon 🙂