01.24.2013 - 01.24.2013
We stayed overnight in Cartagena, so Thursday morning we both escorted tours - Ed to the Monasteries, me on a "Kaleidoscope" visit. Outside the city walls the Spanish built the amazing Fortress of San Felipe. This was Spain's most outstanding feat of engineering in the New World.
The fort was built when it became clear that more protection from pirate raids was needed. Spanish treasure was stored here, but it was still vulnerable when loaded on ships to be brought back to Spain.
Begun in 1536, construction lasted 121 years.
This is the courtyard of La Popa Monastery - a 17th century structure high over the city. Beautiful and peaceful now, it was needed as a fortress at times in the past.
The golden altar inside the chapel had been hidden in a swamp from the marauding pirate Henry Morgan (supposedly a far distant ancestor of one of our lecturers!).
We could fill pages and pages with pictures of balconies, flowers, street vendors, etc..!
The roof tops of the Church of San Pedro, also a monastery.
San Pedro Claver lived from 1580 to 1654, he was a Jesuit priest who dedicated his life to protect, help and baptize thousands of slaves who were brought here from Africa to work in mines under brutal conditions.
San Pedro was the first South American Saint in Roman Catholic tradition. His remains are enshrined at the base of the altar in the church that bears his name.
"Hats off" to Simon Bolivar - the hero who led the fight for Columbia's independence.