Tuesday, July 24, 2018
Castillo San Felipe de Barajas
This morning we got up early to start the day before it got too hot, especially since we were starting at what today is called the Castillo San Felipe de Barajas, the fortress of Cartagena, on the Hill of San Lazaro. Obviously this was a strategic location as it dominated the approach to the city both by land and by sea. It was called it the Castillo de San Lazaro. This fortress is one of Cartagena’s iconic landmarks. But it is the history, dating back over 480 years, which makes it the tourist attraction that it is. Built by the Spaniards in 1536, with pieces of coral in the wall, this is a castle that has been invaded over the centuries by pirates, admirals and barons all trying to access the wealth of Cartagena which included profits from the shipping industry and the slave trade. And yet the fortress still stands. Today it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.