Cartagena’s Old City Walls

“Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends but is played out over and over again in the quietest chambers. The mind can never break off from the journey.”

Pat Conroy

Centuries ago, Cartagena was a very important city for the Spanish Empire, as it had gold, gems, unique crops and slaves which were all worth a lot of money. The city was a good target for pirates, French and English, people like Sir Francis Drake. In 1586, construction started on a wall that encased the old city and the building didn’t finish until 200 years later. The old wall is 11 km long and it is also a few meters thick in some areas.

The walls were built to keep out the attacks on the city and is one of the best preserved walls in South America. The city was invaded by French Huguenot nobleman Jean-Francis Roberval, Robert Baal, Sir Francis Drake in 1586, Sir John Hawkins in 1578 and in Jean-Bernard Desjeans and Jean Ducasse in 1697.

The wall is quite magnificent, my brother, Max and I, along with my best friend Siobhan had a few pictures taken on the wall when we went to Cartagena, the wall was well preserved even though it was hundreds of years old.

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Kids sitting in a crenel/embrasure in the old city wall.

It takes about 2 hours to walk the old city walls.  Its particularly popular with locals to walk the walls at sunset.

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Tourists and locals lingering on the walls.

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The bastions were used by soldiers to defend the city by enabling defensive fire in different directions.

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The old city walls still have a lot of the cannons in place, that were used to defend the city.

The old city walls that surround Cartagena, vary in both thickness and height.  The walls were adapted to allow for roads and so a footbridge became necessary, so you can walk the old walls.

Written and researched by Ava, photos and captions by mum

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