A Travellerspoint blog

Castillo San Felipe de Barajas


sunny 35 °C

Day 13 Sunday, February 11, 2018

A day in Cartagena with no planned activities. We decided to head over to the Castillo San Felipe de Barajas with two of the other folks, Gordon and Keith. It was 30 degrees when we headed out on the 10-minute walk from our hotel. The road goes over a river that was sadly full of garbage.


The castle is a world heritage site. It is located on the Hill of San Lázaro in a strategic location, dominating approaches to the city by land or sea. It was built by the Spanish during the colonial era. Construction began in the year 1536, It was somewhat restored in the early 2000’s but is still fairly rustic. The view from the top of the fort over the city was very nice. To the west was the Old Town with its Colonial buildings, to the south were the high rises of the new city, quite the contrast.


The walls of the fort were probably 10 feet wide with a space every 15 feet to put your canon through. The fortification consists of a series of walls, wide at the base and narrow toward the parapet, forming a formidable pattern of bunkers. The batteries and parapets protect one another, so making it practically impossible to take a battery without taking the whole defence system. The castle is striking for its grand entrance and its complex maze of tunnels. It is the most formidable defensive complex of Spanish military architecture. It is 41 meters (135 ft.) above sea level. The highlight of the fortress, besides the views, are the tunnels that go through the walls that we could walk into. They are slightly over 6 feet high and about 3 feet wide, mostly lit but, as this is Colombia some of the lights didn’t. Seriously dark when with out light. Outside by now, it was well over 30 degrees.


We spent the afternoon wandering about the beautiful streets of Old Town (on the shady side of the street). Here we found both street vendors selling tourist stuff and shops selling a variety of beautiful Colombian crafts. The streets wind about and end at the wall that was built to keep pirates, like Sir Francis Drake, out. There is a walk along the top of the wall around the city.


Time to head back for shower and cold drink.

Posted by Fredricgail2017 15:29 Archived in Colombia

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