Walls of Cartagena

The walls of Cartagena (Las Murallas) are the most obvious feature of the UNESCO World Heritage listed city. They enclose the districts of El Centro and San Diego.

Las Murallas (City Walls) of Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia

Las Murallas (City Walls)

 

Origins

Las Murallas were built after an attack by Sir Francis Drake in 1586 and finished in 1796. These thick stone walls even have replica cannons placed along them to recreate the feeling of the old Spanish colony.

Las Murallas (City Walls) of Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia

Las Murallas (City Walls)

Las Murallas (City Walls) of Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia

Las Murallas (City Walls)

They used to be right up against the Caribbean Sea but modern necessities called for changes. Land replaced water, a road was built, and now a sea of grass now lays where the waves used to crash into the city walls.

Las Murallas (City Walls) of Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia

Las Murallas (City Walls)

Las Murallas (City Walls) of Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia

Las Murallas (City Walls)

 

Walking the Walls

Walk the perimeter of the city along the walls, and on top of them whenever possible. They are a great glimpse into the past and give a unique perspective of the city.

View from Las Murallas (City Walls) of Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia

View from Las Murallas (City Walls)

Las Murallas (City Walls) of Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia

A ramp on Las Murallas (City Walls)

Las Murallas (City Walls) of Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia

Las Murallas (City Walls)

Las Murallas (City Walls) of Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia

Las Murallas (City Walls)

 

Puerta del Reloj

Puerta del Reloj is the main gate to the old town. It was once called Boca del Puente and linked the walled city to the slave quarter of Getsemaní by a drawbridge over a moat. The clock tower that gives the gate its name is a new feature and wasn’t added until 1888. A long plaza in front features a few statues.

Puerta del Reloj on Las Murallas (City Walls) of Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia

Puerte del Reloj

Puerta del Reloj on Las Murallas (City Walls) of Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia

Puerta del Reloj

Puerta del Reloj on Las Murallas (City Walls) of Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia

Puerta del Reloj

 

El Muelle de los Pegasos

Along the plaza you’ll find El Muelle de los Pegasos. It features two large statues of the mythical winged horses.

El Muelle de los Pegasos in Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia

El Muelle de los Pegasos

El Muelle de los Pegasos in Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia

El Muelle de los Pegasos

You can also get great views of some yachts and replica wooden ships moored nearby as well as the walls and the towers of San Pedro de Claver.

El Muelle in Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia

El Muelle

View from El Muelle de los Pegasos in Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia

View from El Muelle de los Pegasos

 

Christmas

At Christmas, the entire area in front of Puerta del Reloj is beautifully lit up. A floating Christmas tree that changes colors can be seen from El Muelle de los Pegasos.

Christmas at Puerta del Reloj on Las Murallas (City Walls) of Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia

Christmas at Puerta del Reloj

Christmas at Puerta del Reloj on Las Murallas (City Walls) of Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia

Christmas at Puerta del Reloj

Floating Christmas tree near El Muelle de los Pegasos in Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia

Floating Christmas tree

 

Las Bóvedas

One of the most visited buildings in Cartagena is Las Bóvedas, originally a dungeon built in 1796. It was later used as a prison and is now a souvenir and craft market. You can find any Colombian souvenir here. Don’t forget to bargain!

Las Bóvedas in Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia

Las Bóvedas

Las Bóvedas in Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia

Las Bóvedas

 

India Catalina

Also outside the walls is the Monumento a la India Catalina. It is a monument to a Carib woman who served as translator to Pedro de Heredia, founder of Cartagena. It was erected in 1974.

India Catalina monument in Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia

India Catalina monument

India Catalina in Cartagena, Colombia

The park with the monument to India Catalina

India Catalina in Cartagena, Colombia

India Catalina

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