Cartagena, Colombia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Cartagena (Colombia))
Jump to: navigation, search
For other places with the same name, see Cartagena (disambiguation).
Cartagena
City
Cartagena de Indias
Cartagena of the Indies
Cartagena, Colombia. Top:View of Santa Cruz Manga Island, Castle Grande, Bocagrande area from Cerrodela Popa, Middle left:Reloj Tower (Torre del Reloj), Center:View of Cartagena Wall and Bocagrande business area, Middle right:San Diego Square, Bottom:San Felipe Barajas Castle (Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas)
Cartagena, Colombia. Top:View of Santa Cruz Manga Island, Castle Grande, Bocagrande area from Cerrodela Popa, Middle left:Reloj Tower (Torre del Reloj), Center:View of Cartagena Wall and Bocagrande business area, Middle right:San Diego Square, Bottom:San Felipe Barajas Castle (Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas)
Flag of Cartagena
Flag
Official seal of Cartagena
Seal
Nickname(s):
Colombia - Bolivar - Cartagena.svg
Cartagena is located in Colombia
Cartagena
Cartagena
Coordinates: 10°24′N 75°30′W / 10.400°N 75.500°W / 10.400; -75.500Coordinates: 10°24′N 75°30′W / 10.400°N 75.500°W / 10.400; -75.500
Country Colombia
Department Bolívar
Region Caribbean
Foundation June 1, 1533
Founded by Pedro de Heredia
Government
 • Mayor Dionisio Vélez Trujillo [1]
Area
 • City 572 km2 (221 sq mi)
Elevation 2 m (7 ft)
Population (2006)
 • City 895,400 (approx.) (Census DANE 2,005)
 • Rank Ranked 5th
 • Metro 1,239,430
Demonym Cartagenero(s) (Spanish)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
Postal code 130000
Area code(s) 57 + 5
HDI (2008) Increase 0.798 – High.
City tree Arecaceae
City bird Maria mulata
Saint Patron(s) Saint Catherine and Saint Sebastian.
Website www.cartagena.gov.co (Spanish)

Cartagena or Cartagena de Indias (Spanish pronunciation: [kartaˈxena ðe ˈindjas], "Cartagena of the Indies"), is a city on the northern coast of Colombia in the Caribbean Coast Region and capital of the Bolívar Department. The port city had a population of 892,545 as of the 2005 census. It is the fifth-largest city in Colombia and the second largest in the region, after Barranquilla. The Cartagena urban area is also the fifth-largest urban area in the country. Economic activities include maritime and petrochemicals industry, as well as tourism.

The city was founded on June 1, 1533, and named after Cartagena, Spain. However, settlement in this region around Cartagena Bay by various indigenous people dates back to 4000 BC. During the colonial period Cartagena served a key role in administration and expansion of the Spanish empire. It was a center of political and economic activity due to the presence of royalty and wealthy viceroys. Cartagena is the city most associated with pirates in the Caribbean, and the world. In 1984 Cartagena's colonial walled city and fortress were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

History[edit]

According to descriptions that survive, the homes of the prehistoric inhabitants of the city may have looked very similar to these Taino culture huts in Cuba

Pre-Colombian era: 4000 BC – 1500 AD[edit]

The Puerto Hormiga Culture, found in the Caribbean coast region, particularly in the area from the Sinú River Delta to the Cartagena Bay, appears to be the first documented human community in what is now Colombia. Archaeologists estimate that around 4000 BC, the formative culture was located near the boundary between the present-day departments of Bolívar and Sucre. In this area, archaeologists have found the most ancient ceramic objects of the Americas, dating from around 4000 BC. The primary reason for the proliferation of primitive societies in this area is thought to have been the relative mildness of climate and the abundance of wildlife, which allowed the hunting inhabitants a comfortable life.[2][3][4]

Archaeological investigations date the decline of the Puerto Hormiga culture and its related settlements to around 3000 BC. The rise of a much more developed culture, the Monsú, who lived at the end of the Dique Canal near today's Cartagena neighborhoods Pasacaballos and Ciénaga Honda at the northernmost part of Barú Island, has been hypothesized. The Monsú culture appears to have inherited the Puerto Hormiga culture's use of the art of pottery and also to have developed a mixed economy of agriculture and basic manufacture. The Monsú people's diet was based mostly on shellfish and fresh and salt-water fish.[5]

The development of the Sinú society in what is today the departments of Córdoba and Sucre, eclipsed these first developments around the Cartagena Bay area. Until the Spanish colonization, many cultures derived from the Karib, Malibu and Arawak language families lived along the Colombian Caribbean coast. In the late pre-Columbian era, the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta was home to the Tayrona people, whose language was closely related to the Chibcha language family.[6][7]

Around 1500 the area was inhabited by different tribes of the Karib language family, more precisely the Mocanae sub-family, including:

  • In the downtown island: Kalamarí Tribe
  • In the Tierrabomba island: Carex Tribe
  • In the Barú island, then peninsula: Bahaire Tribe
  • In the eastern coast of the exterior bay: Cospique Tribe
  • In the suburban area of Turbaco: Yurbaco Tribe

Some subsidiary tribes of the Kalamari lived in today's neighborhood of Pie de la Popa, and other subsidiaries from the Cospique lived in the Membrillal and Pasacaballos areas. Among these, according to the earliest documents available, the Kalamari had preeminence. These tribes, though physically and administratively separated, shared a common architecture, such as hut structures consisting of circular rooms with tall roofs, which were surrounded by defensive wooden palisades.[8]

First sightings by Europeans: 1500–1533[edit]

After the failed effort to find Antigua del Darién in 1506 by Alonso de Ojeda and the subsequent unsuccessful founding of San Sebastián de Urabá in 1517 by Diego de Nicuesa, the southern Caribbean coast became unattractive to colonizers. They preferred the better known Hispaniola and Cuba.[9]

Though the Casa de Contratación gave permission to Rodrigo de Bastidas (1460–1527) to again conduct an expedition as adelantado to this area, Bastidas explored the coast and discovered the Magdalena River Delta in his first journey from Guajira to the south in 1527, a trip that ended in the Gulf of Urabá, the location of the failed first settlements. De Nicuesa and De Ojeda noted the existence of a big bay on the way from Santo Domingo to Urabá and the Panama isthmus, and that encouraged Bastidas to investigate.[10][11][12][13]

Colonial era: 1533–1717[edit]

Colonial streets in Cartagena
Pedro de Heredia founder of the city and explorer of its hinterland

Cartagena was founded on June 1, 1533 by Spanish commander Pedro de Heredia, in the former location of the indigenous Caribbean Calamarí village. The town was named after Cartagena, Spain, where most of Heredia's sailors had resided.[14]

The city began with 200 people in 1533. During the remainder of the 16th century there was rapid growth. A major factor was the gold in the tombs of the Sinú Culture.

After those tombs were completely plundered, the inhabitants began to scatter to the countryside and to establish themselves as farmers, and the population of the city decreased.

A little later, the city had fewer than 2000 inhabitants and one church. The dramatically increasing fame and wealth of the prosperous city turned it into an attractive plunder site for pirates and corsairs – French and English privateers licensed by their king. 30 years after its founding, the city was pillaged by the French nobleman Jean-François Roberval. The city set about strengthening its defences and surrounding itself with walled compounds and castles.[15] Pirate Martin Cote attacked years later. A few months after the disaster of the invasion of Cote, a fire destroyed the city and forced the creation of a firefighting squad, the first in the Americas.[16]

In 1568, Sir John Hawkins of England tried to trick Gov. Martín de las Alas into violating Spanish law by opening a foreign fair in the city to sell goods. Hawkins planned to ravage the port afterwards. The governor declined. Hawkins besieged the city, but failed to level it.[17][18][19]

Church of Saint Peter Claver
Map of the city recently established and without walls (c.1550)

In 1586, Sir Francis Drake, also of England, and nephew of Hawkins, arrived with a powerful fleet and quickly took the city. The governor, Pedro Fernández de Busto, fled with the Archbishop to the neighboring town of Turbaco, and from there negotiated the costly ransom for the city: 107,000 Spanish pesos or "pieces of eight." Drake had destroyed one-quarter of the city, the developing Palace of the Township, and the recently finished cathedral.[citation needed]

After this disaster, Spain poured millions every year into the city for its protection, beginning with Gov. Francisco de Murga's planning of the walls and forts; this practice was called Situado. The magnitude of this subsidy is shown by comparison: between 1751 and 1810, the city received the sum of 20,912,677 Spanish reales.[20][21] The city recovered quickly from Drake's attack and subsequent occupation, and continued its growth and hence its inevitable attraction for predators including a large group of pirates who attacked in late 1683. Nonetheless, trade began to increase, continuing into the 17th century. The city reached the peak of its development in 1698 before the arrival of the Baron de Pointis.

The policies of the Bourbon Dynasty in Spain, such as those of Philip V, stimulated the economic growth and consolidation of the Spanish America.
Juan Díaz de Torrezar Pimienta as governor was the mastermind of the reconstruction of the city after the destruction of 1697

The Raid on Cartagena in 1697 by Sir Bernard Desjean, Baron de Pointis and Jean Baptiste Ducasse was an all-out invasion that was politically motivated. Absent a male successor to the Spanish Habsburg throne, King Louis XIV wanted his grandson Felipe V to assert the right of succession, and conquering Cartagena could help significantly. The political purpose behind the invasion was somewhat undermined by Ducasse, the governor of Saint-Domingue – today's Haiti – who brought his soldiers with a plan to steal, but ended with pirates and thieves destroying the city. Entry to the city was hindered by the recently finished first stage of walls and forts, and the invasion was costly. While Desjean had asked for 250,000 Spanish reales in ransom, Ducasse stayed but a few months and dishonored the baron's promise to respect the churches and holy places. Ducasse left the inhabitants with nothing.

During the 17th century, the Spanish Crown paid for the services of prominent European military engineers to construct fortresses. Today these are Cartagena's most significant identitifiable features. Engineering works took well over 208 years and ended with some 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) of walls surrounding the city, including the Castillo San Felipe de Barajas, named in honor of Spain's King Philip IV. The Castillo was built during the governorship of Pedro Zapata de Mendoza, Marquis of Barajas and was constructed to repel land attacks. It is equipped with sentry boxes, has buildings for food and weapons storage, and contains underground tunnels connecting the fortifications. The original fort was constructed between 1639 and 1657 on top of San Lazaro Hill. In 1762 extensive expansion was undertaken, and the final result is the current bastion. Numerous attempts to storm the reinforced fort were mounted, but it was never penetrated.

Cartagena was a major trading port, especially for precious metals. Gold and silver from the mines in the New Granada and Peru were loaded in Cartagena on the galleons bound for Spain via Havana. Cartagena was also a slave port; Cartagena and Veracruz, (Mexico), were the only cities authorized to trade African slaves. The first slaves were transported by Pedro de Heredia and were used as cane cutters to open roads, as laborers to destroy the tombs of the aboriginal population of Sinú, and to construct buildings and fortresses. The agents of the Portuguese company Cacheu sold slaves from Cartagena for working in mines in Venezuela, the West Indies, the Nuevo Reino de Granada and the Viceroyalty of Perú.

On February 5, 1610, the Catholic Monarchs established the Inquisition Holy Office Court in Cartagena by a royal decree issued by King Philip II. With Lima in Peru, it was one of the three seats of the Inquisition in the Americas. The Palace of Inquisition, finished in 1770, preserves its original features of colonial times. When Cartagena declared its complete independence from Spain on November 11, 1811, the inquisitors were urged to leave the city. The Inquisition operated again after the Reconquest in 1815, but it disappeared entirely when Spain surrendered six years later to the troops led by Simón Bolívar.

The final serious attempt to take the city and invade New Granada was made by Edward Vernon, who failed in one of the biggest military expeditions ever sent there
Blas de Lezo the one-eyed, one-legged, one-handed Spanish mariner was one of those who defended the city in 1741

The census made by the mayor's office in 1712 reflects damage brought on the city by Jean Baptiste Ducasse and his brigands: a major portion of the population of the city had emigrated.

Viceregal era: 1717–1811[edit]

Although the 18th century began very badly for the city, soon things began to improve. The pro-trade economic policies of the new dynasty in Madrid bolstered the economics of Cartagena, and the establishment of the Viceroyalty of the New Granada in 1717 placed the city in the position of being the greatest beneficiary of the colony. The 18th century brought the Bourbon dynasty and its pro-trade policies, and these benefited the city, returning it to prosperity again. During this period, the city passed the psychological barrier of 18,000 inhabitants, which was at the time the population cap of the Viceroyalty of New Granada.

The reconstruction after the Raid on Cartagena (1697) was initially slow, but with the end of the War of the Spanish Succession around 1711 and the competent administration of Juan Díaz de Torrezar Pimienta, the walls were rebuilt, the forts reorganized and restored, and the public services and buildings reopened. By 1710, the city was fully recovered. At the same time, the slow but steady reforms of the restricted trade policies in the Spanish Empire encouraged the establishment of new trade houses and private projects. During the reign of Philip V of Spain the city had many new public works projects either begun or completed, among them the new fort of San Fernando, the Hospital of the Obra Pía and the full paving of all the streets and the opening of new roads.

Failed expedition to conquer Cartagena in 1741[edit]

In March 1741, the city endured a large-scale attack by British and American colonial troops led by Admiral Edward Vernon (1684–1757), who arrived at Cartagena with a massive fleet of 186 ships and 23,600 men, including 12,000 infantry, against six Spanish ships and fewer than 3,000 men, in an action known as the Battle of Cartagena, part of the War of Jenkin's Ear. The siege was broken off due to the start of the tropical rainy season, after weeks of intense fighting in which the British landing party was successfully repelled by the Spanish and native forces led by commander General Blas de Lezo y Olavarrieta, a Basque from the Guipuzcoa province in northern Spain. He died in the aftermath of the battle.

Heavy British casualties were compounded by diseases such as yellow fever. This victory prolonged Spain's control of the Caribbean waters, which helped secure its large Empire until the 19th century. Admiral Vernon was accompanied by American Colonial troops, including George Washington's brother, Lawrence Washington, who was so impressed with Vernon that he named his Mount Vernon estate and plantation after him.

Silver Age (1750-1808)[edit]

After Vernon, what is called the 'Silver Age' of the city (1750–1808) began. This time was one of permanent expansion of the existing buildings, massive immigration from all the other cities of the Viceroyalty, increase of the economic and political power of the city and a population growth spurt not equaled since that time. Political power that was already shifting from Bogotá to the coast completed its relocation, and the Viceroys decided to reside in Cartagena permanently. The inhabitants of the city were the richest of the colony, the aristocracy erected noble houses on their lands to form great estates, libraries and printing establishments were opened, and the first café in New Granada was even established. The good times of steady progress and advancement in the second half of the 18th century came to an abrupt end in 1808 with the general crisis of the Spanish Empire that came from the Mutiny of Aranjuez and all its consequences.

When the defenses were finished in 1756, the city was considered impregnable. Legend has it that Charles III of Spain, while reviewing in Madrid the Spanish defense expenditures for Havana and Cartagena, looked through his spyglass and remarked, "This is outrageous! For this price those castles should be seen from here!"[citation needed]

Among the censuses of the 18th century was the special Census of 1778, imposed by the governor of the time, D. Juan de Torrezar Diaz Pimienta – later Viceroy of New Granada – by order of the Marquis of Ensenada, Minister of Finance – so that he would be provided numbers for his Catastro tax project, which imposed a universal property tax he believed would contribute to the economy while at the same time increasing royal revenues dramatically. The Census of 1778, besides having significance for economic history, is interesting because each house had to be described in detail and its occupants enumerated, making the census an important tool[22] The census revealed what Ensenada had hoped. However, his enemies in the court convinced King Charles III to oppose the tax plan.

1811 to the 21st century[edit]

For more than 275 years, Cartagena was under Spanish rule. On November 11, 1811, Cartagena declared its independence. It had been the biggest city of the Viceroyalty until 1811, when the Peninsular War, which became Wars of Independence and Piñeres's Revolts, marked the beginning of a dramatic decline in all aspects for what had become the virtual capital of New Granada. In 1815 the city was almost destroyed. No census information exists for that time. There are accounts of how the city became a ghost town. Around 500 impoverished freed slaves dwelt the city, whose palaces and public buildings became ruins, many with collapsed walls.

By mid-1815 a large Spanish expeditionary fleet under Pablo Morillo had arrived in New Granada and forces besieged Cartagena. After a five-month siege the fortified city fell on December 1815. By 1816, the combined efforts of Spanish and colonial forces, marching south from Cartagena and north from royalist strongholds in Quito, Pasto, and Popayán, completed the reconquest of New Granada, taking Bogotá on May 6, 1816.

In 1821 the general Mariano Montilla conducted the pivotal siege of Cartagena assisted by naval forces under José Prudencio Padilla. The city fell on October 1, 1821 after a siege lasting 159 days. Among the defenders who surrendered was Brigadier Gabriel Torres, commander of the royalist forces. The patriots captured large stores of gunpowder, lead, rifles and field pieces.

Recovery, though slow, began. It then stopped as a result of the general economic and political instability of the country at the time. In addition, isolationist economic policy on the part of the Andean elites[clarification needed] doomed the areas, with export potential, to poverty.[citation needed]

Several famines and cholera outbreaks in the mid-19th century decimated the city,[clarification needed] and it was in danger of disappearing.

After the 1880s the city began to recover from crisis. Progress continued, though somewhat slowly, after the 1929 crash. Syrian, Palestinian, Lebanese, Chinese and other immigrant communities developed in this period of time.

The city used to be served by a railroad with a railroad station near today's "La Matuna" neighborhood. In the late 1950s, with a general trend toward paved roads for mobile traffic, the railroad closed.

Between 1930 and 1970 the city showed population growth at rates higher than the national average. By 1970, the population spurt was over. Yet the population has tripled since the 1980s with a mixture of privatization of the port infrastructure, decentralization of tourism, and the fact that, proportional to its population, Cartagena is the city that has received the most displaced people from the countryside with the escalation of civil war in the 1990s in the Andean regions as refugees looked for safety in the Caribbean capital.

The 6th Summit of the Americas was held in Cartagena on April 14 and 15, 2012. A prostitution scandal involving U.S. President Barack Obama's security detail received international attention and overshadowed the summit.[23][24]

Geography[edit]

Location[edit]

Cartagena faces the Caribbean Sea to the west. To the south is the Cartagena Bay, which has two entrances: Bocachica (Small Mouth) in the south, and Bocagrande (Big Mouth) in the north. Cartagena is located at 10°25' North, 75°32' West (10.41667, −75.5333).1

Neighborhoods[edit]

The metropolitan area of Cartagena is formed by:

Northern area[edit]

In this area is the Rafael Núñez International Airport, located in the neighborhood of Crespo, ten minutes' drive from downtown or the old part of the city and fifteen minutes away from the modern area. Zona Norte, the area located immediately north of the airport, is widely recognized as the district with the greatest prospective long-term urban development. It is the setting for the Hotel Las Americas, the urban development office of Barcelona de Indias, and several educational institutions.

Colonial architecture in the old town
Simón Bolívar's equestrian sculpture in the eponymous park
Walls and cannons of the old city

Downtown[edit]

The Downtown area of Cartagena has varied architecture, mainly a colonial style, but republican and Italian style buildings, such as the Cathedral's bell tower, can be seen.

The official entrance to downtown Puerta del Reloj (Clock Gate), which comes out onto Plaza de los Coches (Square of the Carriages). A few steps farther is the Plaza de la Aduana (Customs Square), next to the mayor's office. Nearby is San Pedro Claver Square and the church also named for Saint Peter Claver, where the body of the Jesuit saint ('Slave of the African slaves') is kept in a casket, as well as the Museum of Modern Art.

Nearby is the Plaza de Bolívar (Bolívar's Square) and the Palace of Inquisition. Plaza de Bolívar (formerly known as Plaza de La Inquisicion) is essentially a small park with a statue of Simón Bolívar in the center. This plaza is surrounded by balconied colonial buildings. Shaded outdoor cafes line the street. The Office of Historical Archives devoted to Cartagena's history is not far away. Next to the archives is the Government Palace, the office building of the Governor of the Department of Bolivar. Across from the palace is the Cathedral of Cartagena, which dates back to the 16th century.

Another religious building of significance is the restored Santo Domingo Church in front of Plaza Santo Domingo (Santo Domingo Square). In the square is the sculpture Mujer Reclinada ("Reclining Woman"), a gift from the renowned Colombian artist Fernando Botero. Nearby is the Tcherassi Hotel, a 250-year-old colonial mansion renovated by designer Silvia Tcherassi.

In the city is the Augustinian Fathers Convent and the University of Cartagena. This university is a center of higher education opened to the public in the late 19th century. The Claustro de Santa Teresa (Saint Theresa Cloister), which has been remodeled and has become a hotel operated by Charleston Hotels. It has its own square, protected by the San Francisco Bastion.

A 20-minute walk from downtown is the Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas, located in el Pie de la Popa (another neighborhood), the greatest fortress ever built by the Spaniards in their colonies. The tunnels were all constructed in such a way as to make it possible to hear footsteps of an approaching enemy. Some of the tunnels are open for viewing today.

San Diego[edit]

San Diego was named after the local San Diego Convent, now known as the Beaux Arts School Building. In front of it is the Convent of the Nuns of the Order of Saint Clare, now the Hotel Santa Clara. In the surrounding area is Santo Toribio Church, the last church built in the Walled City. Next to it is Fernández de Madrid Square, honoring Cartagena's hero, José Fernández de Madrid, whose statue can be seen nearby.

Inside the Old City[clarification needed] is found Las Bóvedas (The Vaults),[25] a construction attached to the walls of the Santa Catalina Fortress. From the top of this construction the Caribbean Sea is visible.

Getsemaní[edit]

African people brought as slaves used to live in this neighborhood. Parque Centenario (Centenary Park) was built in 1911 to commemorate a century of independence. The park also contains a local police station and a mid-afternoon pulpit for aspiring evangelists. Over the years the park has acquired a sloth, two gila monsters and a few monkeys. Cartagena's Convention Center, Third Order Church and San Francisco Cloister are in the area. The area has nightclubs. The Old City has the same architectural styles as the area surrounded by The Walls. From 2011 to 2013, the park was completely restored, and was closed to the public.

Bocagrande[edit]

The Bocagrande (Big Mouth) area contains the bulk of the city's tourist facilities, such as hotels, shops, restaurants, nightclubs and art galleries. It is located between Cartagena Bay to the east and the Caribbean Sea to the west, to include El Laguito (The Little Lake) and Castillogrande (Big Castle), two renowned neighborhoods. Bocagrande has long beaches and commercial activity found along Avenida San Martín (Saint Martin Avenue).

The beaches of Bocagrande, lying along the northern shore, are made of volcanic sand, which is slightly greyish in colour. This makes the water appear muddy, though it is not. There are breakwaters about every 200 yards (180 m).

On the bay side of the peninsula of Bocagrande is a seawalk. In the centre of the bay is a statue of the Virgin Mary. Contestants of the Miss Colombia Pageant parade there during festival.

Originally constructed for foreign oil workers, Bocagrande consists mostly of the land acquired through land reclamation.[citation needed]

Bocagrande's skyline at twilight from the old town

Climate[edit]

Cartagena features a tropical wet and dry climate. Humidity averages around 90%, with rainy seasons typically in May–June and October–November. The climate tends to be hot and windy. Strong cool winds occur from November through February.

Cartagena is rarely touched by hurricanes. Although the city is in the Caribbean, the mainland is quite far south, isolating it from the wind currents that feed the hurricanes.

Climate data for Cartagena
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 40
(104)
38
(100)
38
(100)
38
(100)
40
(104)
38
(100)
39
(102)
38
(100)
38
(100)
39
(102)
40
(104)
39
(102)
40
(104)
Average high °C (°F) 30.9
(87.6)
30.8
(87.4)
31.0
(87.8)
31.4
(88.5)
31.9
(89.4)
32.2
(90)
32.3
(90.1)
32.3
(90.1)
32.1
(89.8)
31.6
(88.9)
31.4
(88.5)
31.2
(88.2)
31.59
(88.86)
Daily mean °C (°F) 27.0
(80.6)
26.9
(80.4)
27.3
(81.1)
28.0
(82.4)
28.4
(83.1)
28.6
(83.5)
28.5
(83.3)
28.7
(83.7)
28.5
(83.3)
28.1
(82.6)
27.8
(82)
27.6
(81.7)
27.95
(82.31)
Average low °C (°F) 24.1
(75.4)
24.0
(75.2)
24.8
(76.6)
25.7
(78.3)
26.1
(79)
25.8
(78.4)
25.7
(78.3)
26.1
(79)
25.8
(78.4)
25.5
(77.9)
25.4
(77.7)
25.0
(77)
25.33
(77.6)
Record low °C (°F) 19.0
(66.2)
19.0
(66.2)
19.0
(66.2)
19.5
(67.1)
19.0
(66.2)
19.0
(66.2)
20.0
(68)
18.0
(64.4)
18.5
(65.3)
19.0
(66.2)
19.0
(66.2)
18.5
(65.3)
18
(64.4)
Precipitation mm (inches) 4.4
(0.173)
0.9
(0.035)
1.5
(0.059)
21.9
(0.862)
88.5
(3.484)
97.8
(3.85)
88.6
(3.488)
110.5
(4.35)
144.0
(5.669)
198.3
(7.807)
121.3
(4.776)
34.8
(1.37)
912.5
(35.923)
Avg. precipitation days 1 0 1 3 10 12 10 13 13 16 10 3 92
Mean monthly sunshine hours 278.2 239.3 244.5 209.6 197.2 187.2 216.6 204.1 177.6 175.0 200.7 247.2 2,577.2
Source #1: Instituto de Hidrologia Meteorologia y Estudios Ambientales [26]
Source #2: Hong Kong Observatory[27]

Demographics[edit]

The Marquis of Ensenada was Minister for America and responsible for many policies, one of which resulted in the first modern census in the city in 1778.
Year Total
City
1939 87,504
1952 123,439
1967 299,493
1976 312,520
1985 554,093
1993 725,072
1999 837,552
2005 893,033
2011 955,709 Projected
2013 978,600 Projected
Year Total
City
1811 29,320
1821 5,392
1832 8,001
1842 4,221
1853 6,403
1867 8,320
1870 7,680
1882 13,994
1890 17,392
1900 21,220
1912 29,922
1918 34,203
1926 64,322
Year Total
City
1533 200
1564 2,400
1593 3,543
1612 5,302
1634 8,390
1643 12,302
1698 14,223
1701 10,230
1732 12,932
1762 14,203
1778 16,940
1792 19,380
1803 23,402

The city has shown a continuing tendency for population growth that began in the mid-80s. Birth rate and relatively normal death rates have contributed to the ongoing economic expansion.[citation needed]

Panorama of Cartagena from the San Felipe de Barajas Fort

Economy[edit]

Industry[edit]

Port Cartagena.

Heavy industry is a primary economic component of the city, providing roughly 10% of all employment. Chief among the industrial activities, is the manufacture of chemicals and products derived from petroleum refining. Many industries are located in the Mamonal Industrial Park, an important industrial zone in Colombia. Located within the zone are 209 large and medium-sized companies which, in 2004, generated roughly 8% of Colombia's GDP.[citation needed] Dupont and Drummond are among the numerous petrochemical, chemical and plastic companies which have established production and distribution centers in Cartagena. A refinery operated by Ecopetrol, is located in the city. Among the largest in Colombia, it is second in size only to Barrancabermeja.[citation needed]

Other prominent companies include Cementos Argos SA, Kola Román, Indufrial, Amazon Pepper, National Beauty Contest, Vikings SA, Distribuidora Ltda Refrigeration, Central Ingenio Colombia, Perfumery Lemaitre, Cartagena Refinery Cellux Colombiana SA, Flour Three Castles, Polyban International SA, SABMiller, Cementos Argos, Dow Chemical, Cemex, Dole, and Abocol.

Free zones[edit]

Free zones are areas within the local territory which enjoy special customs and tax rules. They are intended to promote the industrialization of goods and provision of services aimed primarily at foreign markets and also the domestic market.

  • Central Park Zone SAS: Located in the municipality of Turbaco in conurbation area with the District of Cartagena de Indias, which has 64.8 hectares in the first phase and a second extension underway to complete the 128 acres (52 ha) included in the project. It has excellent design features and will have the most modern software inventory of Colombia. It has a permamente Zone (Phase 1 - Phase 2) and a Logistics and Commercial Zone for SMEs. They are currently on sale and rent their warehouses, lots, yards and offices for companies in different cluster.
  • Zona Franca Industrial Goods and Services ZOFRANCA Cartagena SA: located 14 km from the city center, at the end of the industrial sector and has Mamonal private dock.
  • Tourist Zone: located on the island of Baru, within the swamp Portonaito, is the only tourist zone offers lots of water in waterways, marine tourism and urban development, villas and all conveniences of a Caribbean urbanization.

Commercial[edit]

Cartagena has a rising commercial vocation, to be a city of more than 900,000 people and become tourist destination, the city offers a wide range of shops where they are recognized chain stores, department stores, international franchise and specialized areas trade. Today the city shows a continuing trend of population growth that began in the mid-80s. Birth rate and relatively normal death rates feed the ongoing economic expansion.

Construction[edit]

Builders have modernized the city in recent years, with the construction of new skyscrapers. As of October 2007, there were 42 high-rises under construction, including an attempt to create Colombia's tallest, the Torre de la Escollera. This was expected to be completed in early 2007, 206 metres (676 ft) tall with 58 floors. However, a realistic assessment of the project, taking into account the strong Caribbean winds, led to its dismantling.[citation needed] A new, twenty-story building has been planned instead.[citation needed]

Tourism[edit]

Cartagena walls

Tourism is a mainstay of the economy. The following are tourist sites within the city:

A small island that is part of the Rosario Islands. Near Cartagena.

Infrastructure[edit]

Transportation[edit]

Sunset over Cartagena Harbor as seen from La Popa

As the commercial and touristic hub of the country, the city has many transportation facilities, particularly in the seaport, air, and fluvial areas.

In 2003,[28] the city started building Transcaribe, a mass transit system. In 2013, this construction continued.

Roads[edit]

The city is linked to the northern part of the Caribbean Region through roads 90 and 90A, more commonly called Central Caribbean Road. This Road passes through Barranquilla, Santa Marta and Riohacha ending in Paraguachón, Venezuela and continues with Venezuelan numeration all the way to Caracas. Taxis in the city perimeter do not have fare meters.

The following roads are in the southeast portion of the city:

Road 25: Going through Turbaco and Arjona, and through the Montes de María when a fork divides it continuing to Sincelejo as National 25 and finally ending in Medellín, and to the east to Valledupar as number 80.

Road 25 A: Going also to Sincelejo, but avoiding the mountains, connects with Road 25 in the forementioned city.[clarification needed]

Air[edit]

The Rafael Núñez International Airport, is the busiest airport in Colombia's Caribbean region and the fourth in passenger traffic in the country. The code of the airport is CTG, having flights to almost all airports in Colombia including Bogota's Eldorado International Airport. Excessive operational costs and easier connection travel and better prices had led to the shifting of the Rafael Núñez's international connection passengers away from Bogota to the nearer Tocumen International Airport in Panama and Queen Beatrix International Airport in Aruba. Also more companies prefer to serve the Colombian market from Cartagena, due to better geographical and atmospheric conditions. In 2012 the number of passengers in Rafael Núñez International Airport increased by 33%[29]

Sea[edit]

Sociedad Portuaria de Cartagena main wharves, 2008

The port is the busiest container port in the country, and third in grain transportation. The city has three open ports, and more than 40 private ports.[citation needed]

Castillo Grande lighthouse

The open ports of the City are:

Of the private ports of the city::

Canals[edit]

Since the 17th century the bay has been connected to the Magdalena River by the Dique Canal, built by Governor Pedro Zapata de Mendoza. After Colombian independence, the canal was abandoned. Increasing centralization left the city without resources to maintain it. The last important maintenance work was done in the 1950s during Laureano Gómez's administration. Some improvements were made by local authorities in the 1980s. This was discontinued because of legal objections from the central government that decreed that the "maintenance" of the canal did not fall under the jurisdiction of the local government. From then on, maintenance of the canal has been delayed, though it is still functional.[32]

Cartagenian political leaders have argued that this state of affairs might change with a return to pre-independence funding and tax system. Under such systems the canal would be maintained properly and even expanded, benefiting the national economy.[33]

Waste disposal[edit]

Cartagena is one of the few cities in the world with a submarine emissary inaugurated in 2013. The emissary is the third largest in the world.

Culture[edit]

José Fernández de Madrid was one of the first playwrights of New Granada and his personal library was one of the richest of his time born in Cartagena, the University of Cartagena named its library system in his memory.

Libraries[edit]

The city has many public and private libraries:

  • The Universidad de Cartagena José Fernández Madrid Library: Started in 1821 when the university opened as the "University of Magdalena and Ithsmus". Serves mainly the students and faculty of this university but anyone can use its services.
Divided in buildings across the city being assigned to the Faculties it serves accordingly each area. The main building is in C. de la Universidad 64 and the second biggest section is located in Av. Jose Vicente Mogollón 2839.[34]
  • The Bartolomé Calvo Library: Founded in 1843 and established in its current place in 1900 is one of the main libraries of the Caribbean Coast and the biggest of the city. Its address is: C. de la Inquisición, 23.
  • The History Academy of Cartagena de Indias Library: Opened in 1903, many of its books date from more than a century before from donations of members and benefactors. Its entrance is more restricted due to secure handling procedure reasons as ancient books require, but it can be requested in the Academy office in Plaza de Bolivar 112.
  • The Technological University of Bolívar Library: Opened in 1985 Although small in general size, its sections on engineering and electronics are immense and its demand is mostly on this area, being located in Camino de Arroyohondo 1829.
  • The American Hispanic Culture Library: Opened in 1999, it already existed a smaller version without Spanish funding in the Casa de España since the early 1940s but in 1999 was enlarged to serve Latin America and the Caribbean in the old convent of Santo Domingo. It specializes in Hispanic Culture and History and is a continental epicenter of seminaries on history and restoration of buildings. The restoration of the convent and the enlargement of the library was and still is a personal project of Juan Carlos I of Spain who visits it regularly. It is located in Plaza Santo Domingo 30, but its entrance is in C. Gastelbondo 52.
  • Jorge Artel Library: Opened in 1997, serves the area of the southwest districts of the city, it is mostly for children. It is located in Camino del Socorro 222
  • Balbino Carreazo Library: Located in Pasacaballos, a suburban neighborhood of the southeastern part of the city, serves mostly the suburbs of Pasacaballos, Ararca, Leticia del Dique and Matunilla. It is located in Plaza de Pasacaballos 321
  • District Libraries: Although small, this system goes grassroots to neighborhoods circulating books, generally each district library has around 5000 books.[35]
Theatre Heredia was opened in 1911

Theatres and concert halls[edit]

The first carnivals and western theaters that served in New Granada operated on, what is today, Calle del Coliseo. This was an activity patronized by the Viceroy Manuel de Guirior and Antonio Caballero y Góngora, who, like their predecessors, spent most of the time of their mandates ruling in Cartagena.

  • Heredia Theatre: Opened in 1911, inspired by the Teatro Tacón of Havana, was designed by Jose Enrique Jaspe. After years of abandonment, it was rebuilt in the 1990s and continues to be a cultural center. It is located in Plazuela de La Merced 5.[36]
  • Universidad de Cartagena Aula Maxima: Founded in the early 19th century. It began to be used for debates in the late 1920s. It still has that function today.[citation needed]
  • The city has registered more than 100 companies of theater and traditional or contemporary dancing and is regularly visited by ballet and opera companies. Many of these local theater and traditional companies have their own auditoriums, among them: Reculá del Ovejo House, Teatro Contemporaneo Cartagenero, Ekobios, and Colegio del Cuerpo.[citation needed]

Museums and galleries[edit]

  • City Museum Palace of the Inquisition, opened in the 1970s.
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Port, Fortresses and Group of Monuments, Cartagena
Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List
Type Cultural
Criteria iv, vi
Reference 285
UNESCO region Latin America and the Caribbean
Inscription history
Inscription 1980 (8th Session)

World Heritage site[edit]

The port, the fortresses and the group of monuments of Cartagena were selected in 1984 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as significant to the heritage of the world, having the most extensive fortifications in South America. They are significant, too, for being located in a bay that is part of the Caribbean Sea. A system of zones divides the city into three neighborhoods: San Sebastian and Santa Catalina with the cathedral and many palaces where the wealthy lived and the main government buildings functioned; San Diego or Santo Toribio, where merchants and the middle class lived; and Getsemani, the suburban popular quarters.[37]

Media references[edit]

Film[edit]

  • The 1984 movie Romancing the Stone. Romance novelist Joan Wilder (Kathleen Turner) travels to Cartagena to deliver a treasure map in an effort to ransom her kidnapped sister. The Cartagena scenes were actually filmed in Mexico.
    • In the movie, Michael Douglas's character refers to it as Cartage(ny)a. This has largely been adopted by tourists and is an irritant to the locals. The "N" in Cartagena is hard.
    • In the Family Guy episode "Barely Legal", the mayor, thinking the film is real, sends all the city's police officers to Cartagena.
  • The 2007 film movie Love in the Time of Cholera was filmed in Cartagena.
  • Burn! (1969), with Marlon Brando, was filmed in Cartagena.
  • The 1986 film The Mission with Robert De Niro was filmed in Cartagena and Brazil.
  • Cartagena is featured as the backdrop for the NCIS episode "Agent Afloat".
  • Cartagena figured prominently in the "Smuggler's Blues" episode of TV's Miami Vice in 1985, featuring guest star Glenn Frey and his song "Smuggler's Blues".

Literature[edit]

Famous people[edit]

Nearby towns and cities[edit]

Sister cities[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Dionisio Vélez manda en Cartagena / El Espectador | ELESPECTADOR.COM
  2. ^ "Biblioteca Luis Ángel Arango". Lablaa.org. Retrieved 2013-03-26. 
  3. ^ "Colombia Pais Maravilloso". Pwp.supercabletv.net.co. Retrieved 2010-06-24. 
  4. ^ "Universidad del Norte". Uninorte.edu.co. Retrieved 2010-06-24. 
  5. ^ "Biblioteca Luis Ángel Arango". Lablaa.org. 2005-06-04. Retrieved 2010-06-24. 
  6. ^ "X Cátedra de Historia Ernesto Restrepo Tirado – "El Caribe en la Nación Colombiana" Guerra, Langbaek et al. Ed. Aguilar, Bogotá, 2007. ISBN 958-8250-31-5.
  7. ^ Allaire, Louis (1997). "The Caribs of the Lesser Antilles". In Samuel M. Wilson, The Indigenous People of the Caribbean, pp. 180–185. Gainesville, Florida: University of Florida. ISBN 0-8130-1531-6.
  8. ^ Lemaitre, Eduardo; Historia Extensa de Cartagena de Indias, Ed. Aguilar 1976. Edited before the ISBN system was enforced in Colombia, no reedition.
  9. ^ "Diego de Nicuesa". Bruceruiz.net. 2002-04-22. Retrieved 2010-06-24. 
  10. ^ Related Articles. "Rodrigo de Bastidas (Colombian explorer) – Britannica Online Encyclopedia". Britannica.com. Retrieved 2010-06-24. 
  11. ^ "Rodrigo de Bastidas". Bruceruiz.net. 2002-07-03. Retrieved 2010-06-24. 
  12. ^ Lemaitre, Eduardo; Historia Extensa de Cartagena de Indias, Ed. Aguilar 1976.
  13. ^ Corrales, Manuel Ezequiel; Documentos para la historia de la Provincia de Cartagena, Tomo II, Imp. M. Rivas, Cartagena de Indias, 1883.
  14. ^ "Biblioteca Luis Ángel Arango". Lablaa.org. 2005-06-01. Retrieved 2010-06-24. 
  15. ^ "Pirate Encyclopedia: Port of Cartagena". Ageofpirates.com. Retrieved 2010-06-24. 
  16. ^ De Castellanos, Juan; Historia de Cartagena, Bogotá: Biblioteca de Cultura Popular de Colombia, 1942.
  17. ^ "Historia general y natural de las Indias, islas y tierra-firme del mar océano. Primera parte – Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes". Cervantesvirtual.com. Retrieved 2010-06-24. 
  18. ^ "Sir John Hawkins". Spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-06-24. 
  19. ^ Hamilton, Alan (2006-06-22). "Slavers descendant begs forgiveness". The Times (London). Retrieved 2010-04-28. 
  20. ^ (Spanish) http://www.banrep.gov.co/docum/Pdf-econom-region/Cuadernos/CHEE09.pdf
  21. ^ "THE CARIBBEAN RAID 1585–1586: Sir Francis Drake: A Pictorial Biography by Hans P. Kraus (Rare Book and Special Collections Reading Room, Library of Congress)". Loc.gov. 2005-10-25. Retrieved 2010-06-24. 
  22. ^ This is used today by restoration architects in Cartagena's city centre. The original of the census is preserved in the Museum of History of the city while a copy rests in the Archivo de Indias in Seville
  23. ^ "Most Popular E-mail Newsletter". USA Today. April 15, 2012. 
  24. ^ "Secret Service dismissals "biggest scandal" for agency". CBS News. 
  25. ^ "Cartagena attractions: Las Bovedas". Viator. Retrieved 11 December 2013. 
  26. ^ "Climate of Cartagena-Table of Values" (in Spanish). Instituto de Hidrologia Meteorologia y Estudios Ambientales. Retrieved September 4, 2012. 
  27. ^ Climatological Normals of Cartagena Hong Kong Observatory. Retrieved 4 September 2012
  28. ^ "Transcaribe". Transcaribe. Retrieved 2013-03-26. 
  29. ^ "En Marzo Entregan Obras en el Aeropuerto". El Universal. Retrieved 20 February 2013. 
  30. ^ "Contecar – Sociedad Portuaria Regional Cartagena". Puertocartagena.com. Retrieved 2010-06-24. 
  31. ^ "Terminal Marítimo Muelles El Bosque S.A". Elbosque.com. Retrieved 2010-06-24. 
  32. ^ Lemaitre, Eduardo; Historia Extensa de Cartagena de Indias, Ed. Aguilar 1976
  33. ^ "El Porvenir", Year CXVII, Issue 29.399, Page 4, column 2. Cartagena de Indias, 1999.
  34. ^ "Universidad de Cartagena – Biblioteca". Unicartagena.edu.co. Retrieved 2010-06-24. 
  35. ^ "Patrimonio Cultural – Instituto de Cultura de Cartagena Colombia". Ipcc.gov.co. Archived from the original on June 23, 2007. Retrieved 2010-06-24. 
  36. ^ [1][dead link]
  37. ^ UNESCO: Cartagena, Colombia
  38. ^ "Existing Sister Cities". City of Manila. Retrieved 2009-09-02. 

External links[edit]