Cartagena, Colombia

Steven Dutch, Professor Emeritus, Natural and Applied Sciences, Universityof Wisconsin - Green Bay

Bocagrande is the newer, high-rise section of Cartagena.
The lighthouse at the end of the Castillogrande peninsula features in many descriptions of Cartagena but is quite far removed from the old city and is a long taxi or bus ride.
Cartagena was founded in 1533 and became a major departure point for silver. Also a major importation point for slaves. And an irresistible target for pirates.

In 1544, the city was pillaged by 5 ships and 1000 men under the command of the French pirate Jean-Fran├žois Roberval.

In 1568, Sir John Hawkins of England bombarded the city for 8 days, but failed to level it. French pirate Martin Cote and 1000 men ransacked the city in 1569.
In 1697, Sir Bernard Desjean and Jean Baptiste Ducasse attacked. Desjean had 22 large ships, 500 cannons, and 4000 troops. Ducasse's forces consisted of 7 ships and 1,200 buccaneers. They breached the gates and plundered the city for a month.

I think we can safely assume "Pirates of the Caribbean" was not nearly as much fun to the people who actually endured it.
The War of Jenkins Ear got its name because an English merchant ship captain allegedly had his ear cut off by Spanish troops who boarded his vessel. Britain saw it as an opportunity to weaken Spain's power in the Caribbean and the conflict eventually merged into the War of the Austrian Succession, which involved much of Europe.

Starting in mid-April 1741, the city endured a siege by a large English armada under the command of Admiral Edward Vernon.
The force consisted of 50 warships, 130 transport ships, and 25,600 men, including 2,000 North American colonial infantry.

Following a failed attack, Vernon lifted the siege.
George Washington's half brother, Lawrence Washington, was among the colonial troops.

Lawrence later named his plantation Mount Vernon in honor of his commander. When Lawrence died, George inherited the place.
Fuerte Santa Cruz de Castillogrande.
Torre del Reloj (Clock Tower)
Church of San Pedro Claver
San Pedro Claver was noted for ministering to African slaves.
The seawall fortifications.
Below: Nobody respects the Spanish Inquisition! This was the office of the Inquisition in Cartagena.
Below, and just around the corner from the former Inquisition, is the Cathedral.  
Parque Centenario
Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas
The Walls of Cartagena

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Created 08 December 2020, Last Update