The city of Cartagena located on the Atlantic Coast of Colombia was founded by the Spaniards in 1533. It was known then as Cartagena de Indias.
By 1586 construction began on a stone fortification to protect the city from Caribbean pirates. In time, the city was enclosed by 7 miles of militarily fortified walls. It is considered one of the most extensive fortifications of South America. Cartagena was a major trading hub for the Spanish and Portuguese.
The next photo shows La Torre del Reloj, the Clock Tower, the entrance to the walled city.
In the 1990’s Cartagena underwent a major restoration. Today you can visit La Ciudad Vieja, the old city, and feel like you have stepped back in time enjoying its beautiful streets, architecture, and culture.
My husband I recently visited Cartagena, Colombia. The city is divided into various neighborhoods. The hotels by the beach and modern apartments are located in the Boca Grande area. We chose to stay in the old colonial city in Sofitel’s Santa Clara Hotel in the San Diego neighborhood. The Santa Clara was originally built in 1621 as a convent for the order of Las Clarissas, also known as the nuns of the Order of St. Claire. The convent operated for 240 years until 1861 when the government took over church properties. The property was then used as a prison until 1884 and as a hospital until 1974. The property was then abandoned and fell into major disrepair. Sofitel purchased the property and after a major renovation opened the hotel in 1994. Today it is one of Cartagena’s most beautiful hotels.
The spectacular inside courtyard of The Santa Clara hotel. On the bottom right hand side is one of the original 4 wells of the convent.
Stepping out of our hotel and exploring the neighborhood.
Iglesia de Santo Toribio located in one of the corners of The Plaza Fernandez de Madrid
In the picture below, on the right hand side is, La Catedral de Santa Catalina de Alejandria de Cartagena de Indias.
Below is The Charleston Santa Teresa Hotel in Plaza Santa Teresa
The next two photos are of the Plaza San Pedro de Claver.
Evening strolls in Cartagena
Below is the Plaza de la Aduana – Custom’s Square
Houses in the three colors of the Colombia Flag, blue, red, and yellow.
We loved this beautiful and colorful city of Cartagena and we look forward to visiting again!