Cartagena Old Town Wall to San Felipe de Barajas Castle

Since I had explored most of the Old Town streets, I decided to walk back to Manga a different route that passed the famous Cartagena Castle.

First I started exploring a different part of the Old Town wall next to Getsemani.  It is easy to get up onto the wall via stairs.  Many parts of the wall have huge spaces on top.

The wall still has cannons installed, to show how Cartagena previously defended itself.  This is a great view to the Castle.

There is also a wonderful view to the Old Town.

There are so many street sellers here.  Many sell fresh fruit like these ones you can see here.

Another great view to the Castle.

Once you cross the street, there is a beautiful monument to India Catalina.

India Catalina Monument

In the 16th Century, a young local girl was kidnapped by Diego deNicuesa and taken to Santo Domingo. As a slave, she learned to speak Spanish, as well as dress, act, and worship like her captors. Later, she was taken by Pedro de Heredia to assist in his conquest of the tribes surrounding Cartagena by acting as an interpreter.

With Catalina’s translation help, Heredia was able to conquer many of the Indian groups surrounding Cartagena with the Calamari Indians being completely annihilated.
Later, Catalina would marry Pedro de Heredias’ nephew, Alonso Montañés. She returned with her husband to Sevilla, Spain and was lost to any further historical mention.

Then it was time to head over the bridge towards the Castle.

I was in awe of these local birds, known as Black Vultures.  They are huge and fascinating to watch.

From the bridge was a stunning view towards Old Town, Bocagrande and Manga.

“If you love God, respect nature, and do not dirty Cartagena”.

Castillo San Felipe de Barajas

Arriving at the Castle is definitely tourist-central.

Direct from Lonely Planet:

“The castillo is the greatest fortress ever built by the Spaniards in any of their colonies. It still dominates an entire section of Cartagena’s cityscape today, and should definitely be your first choice of fortresses to visit. The original fort was commissioned in 1630 and was quite small. Construction began in 1657 on top of the 40m-high San Lázaro hill. In 1762 an extensive enlargement was undertaken, which resulted in the entire hill being covered over with this powerful bastion.”

I rarely go inside castles anymore.  I just enjoyed this one from the street.


Also published on Medium.

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