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In pre-Colombian times, the Spanish invaders landed along the Caribbean coast and began  to conquer the native tribes living there, and more than one colonizing expedition met their demise at the hands of the coastal warriors, but eventually, the tribes were subdued, and Cartagena was born.

Pedro de Heredia founded and named the city on June 1 1533 as Cartagena de Poniente, and its status as a commercial and black market made it attractive to foreign eyes, much to the chagrin of the native population.

The importance of  protecting the port gave birth to the construction of many fortifications beginning with Fuerte del Boqueron in the 16th century, but in 1697, the city was devastated by Baron de Pontis, and left in ruins.   The construction of these fortifications continued into the 17th and 18th centuries and they were effective against most attacks by the English privateers employed by Spain.  Some attacks and sieges successfully conquered the military and inhabitants throughout the years despite the walls and forts. 

In 1610, the Spanish Inquisition came to Cartagena with its power of reprimand and vigilance and this lasted until independence arrived on November 11, 1811. But still Cartagena would not be free.  Because of political tricks by Pablo Morillo, El Pacificador, who imposed taxes in 1815 and others who wanted to retake Cartagena for Spain, it took 10 more years for Cartagena to finally achieve definitive emancipation. This was followed by a long recession, but Cartagena survived and was reborn into the bustling center of commerce and tourism that it is now.

Vista Aérea
Cartagena Centro Histórico
Cartagena Centro Histórico
Cartagena Centro Histórico
Cartagena - Getsemani


Originally the island neighborhood Juan Prez de Meterano, Getsemani was established in the 16th century.  Getsemani means place for expansion.  The first structure constructed in Getsemani was the Convent of San Francisco in 1555.  At the end of the 16th century, the main streets of Getsemani  Arrabal were drawn, now called Media Luna.

Getsemani was attacked and captured by Jerans  Bernad on April 21, 1897, but many of Getsemani’s residents formed a group of militia called “The spearmen of Getsemani.”  Under the command of Pedro Romero, a Cuban they liberated Gesemani and were also  key to the independence of Cartagena.  Afterward, many immigrants from Colombia’s interior migrated to Getsemani and settled.  In 1904, the Getsemani market was built, and the Centennial Park was constructed on the land occupied by the slaughterhouse.  The Centennial Park was inaugurated on November 11, 1911, and anchors the Getsemani neighborhood on the Northwest side.

calle de sierpe (6)
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