Tag Archives: Cartagena

23-24 December 2018:
Cartagena, Colombia:
A Hot Place in a Hot Place

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

We enjoyed a beautiful afternoon evening and morning at a hot place in a hot place: Cartagena.

We arrived on a Sunday aon the day before Christmas Eve and this city of nearly two million people was in a party mood. Then again Cartagena is almost always in a party mood. They call it rumbeando.

Here are some photos I took in the decorated streets and at sunset as we enjoyed a cold beer and celebrated the setting of the sun.

All photos by Corey Sandler. Copyright 2018, all rights reserved.

Cartagena, La Heroica, was one of Spain’s treasuries in the New World, along with Havana, Cuba.

As Spain extracted gold, silver, pearls, silk, and almost anything else they could move from the Americas and beyond from the Phillippines, China, and Japan, the had to sail their galleons through the Gulf of Mexico past the real pirates of the Caribbean.

Cartagena grew wealthy from that role, and as a result of the massive fortifications put in place by the Spanish.

Today the city is one of the handsomest places in this part of the world, a rich stew of Spanish Colonial architecture, Spanish and indigenous food and music and dance, and the money left behind by modern tourists.

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved. See more photos on my website at http://www.coreysandler.com

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Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

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Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

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16 May 2018:
Cartagena and Murcia, Spain:
The Warm Coast

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Cartagena is one of Spain’s more historically significant places because of its superb and easily defended naval port.

But Cartagena is less-known than many other coastal cities of Spain,

In fact, its distant namesake, Cartagena de Indias, in Colombia, may be much better known. Cartagena, Colombia grew as one of the principal Spanish fortresses to hold the treasure taken from South America, the Caribbean, and Asia. I will be the last to complain; just a few months ago I was in that other Cartagena aboard ship.

Cartagena, Spain has long been a crossroads of civilizations and navies.

It has a spectacular Roman Theatre and remains of Phoenician, Byzantine and Moorish structures capped by a fine collection of early 20th century Art Nouveau buildings.

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

On this visit, I returned to the wondrous city of Murcia. We visited the Church of Fuensanta, a lovely spot in the hills above town, and then its corresponding cathedral in Murcia itself.

And then we went to secular treasure of Murcia, the Royal Casino.

It was founded in 1847 as a gentleman’s club for the very wealthy of Murcia, later extended to people of the feminine persuasion. It has rooms with exquisite Moorish or Arabic style, an English-style library, a formal ballroom, and much more.

I’ve been there many times, and still manage to find new ways to make its portrait:

All photos by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

21 May 2017:
Cartagena, Spain:
The Warm Coast

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Cartagena is on the Costa Cálida, the Warm Coast of Spain’s Murcia region. Cartagena is one of Spain’s more historically significant places because of its superb and easily defended naval port.

But Cartagena is less-known than many other coastal cities of Spain,

In fact, its distant namesake, Cartagena de Indias, in Colombia, may be much better known.

Cartagena, Colombia grew as one of the principal Spanish fortresses to hold the treasure taken from South America, the Caribbean, and Asia.

Cartagena, Spain has long been a crossroads of civilizations and navies. It has a fine collection of early 20th century Art Nouveau buildings, intermixed with a spectacular Roman Theatre and remains of Phoenician, Byzantine and Moorish structures.

SUNDAY IN CARTAGENA

Continue reading 21 May 2017:
Cartagena, Spain:
The Warm Coast

10 Sep 2016
Cartagena, Spain: From the New World to the Old

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Cartagena is on the Costa Cálida, the Warm Coast of Spain’s Murcia region. Cartagena is one of Spain’s more historically significant places because of its superb and easily defended naval port.

But Cartagena is less-known than many other coastal cities of Spain,

In fact, its distant namesake, Cartagena de Indias, in Colombia, may be much better known.

Cartagena, Colombia grew as one of the principal Spanish fortresses to hold the treasure taken from South America, the Caribbean, and Asia.

Cartagena, Spain has long been a crossroads of civilizations and navies. It has a fine collection of early 20th century Art Nouveau buildings, intermixed with a spectacular Roman Theatre and remains of Phoenician, Byzantine and Moorish structures.

A CARTAGENA ALBUM

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About 50 kilometers or 35 miles north of Cartagena in the interior is the town of Murcia, the provincial capital and university town, a much larger city of 440,000.

Murcia has a similar back-story to Cartagena, a mix of Roman, Moorish, and Spanish cultures.

One of the treasures of Murcia is its Cathedral, begun in the 14th century after the reconquest of Spain from the Muslims. Its style is considered Churrigueresque—highly ornate and complex Spanish Baroque. The style gets its name from architect Jose Benito de Churriguera.

The 19th century Murcia Casino, with an exterior inspired by the Alhambra in Granada, is inside more like a British gentleman’s club, a place to socialize and play billiards.

THE CATHEDRAL OF MURCIA

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Text and images copyright 2016 by Corey Sandler. All rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

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19-20 APRIL 2015
 Cartagena, Colombia: La Heroica

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

We arrived in steamy Cartagena in the afternoon and overnighted, catching our breath in one of the most handsome old Spanish colonial cities of the New World.

Cartagena was the Fort Knox, the Las Vegas, the Tower of London: one of the principal offshore gold repositories and warehouses for the Spanish.

And for that reason it came under attack many times.

Colombians call Cartagena “La Heroica.” The Heroic City.

Here are some photos I took on this visit to Cartagena:

CARTAGENA, APRIL 2015. All photos by Corey Sandler

La Popa Monastery

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FUERTE SAN FELIPPE

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Within the Walls of the Old City of Cartagena

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In 1533—35 years after Columbus sailed nearby and almost a century before Pilgrims arrived at Plymouth Rock in 1620—Spanish explorer Don Pedro de Heredia founded a settlement he called Cartagena de Indias.

Cartegena of the Indies, to distinguish it from Cartagena on the Mediterranean in southeastern Spain.

In 1513, Vasco Nunez de Balboa and his men walked across the Isthmus of Panama and became the first Europeans to see the Pacific Ocean from its Eastern shore.

The Spanish soon got into the business of conducting trade with Asia from what is now Mexico and California as well as pillaging Central and South America.

Traders brought back spices, silks, porcelain, ivory, and lacquerware. And there was gold.

Much of the Asian treasure was carried up and over the Cordillera to Veracruz on the Gulf of Mexico, then reloaded onto galleons through the Gulf of Mexico…the home of the real Pirates of the Caribbean.

Cartagena became the central warehouse for the treasures that came from Asia and much of the gold and silver taken from the Americas.

And it also became one of the principal targets of the real pirates of the Caribbean.

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Spanish King Philip II, known as “the Prudent,” did not like losing his stuff to pirates and privateers. And so he hired Europe’s foremost military engineers to design and build Fuerte San Felipe.

The massive network of seven forts and defensive walls average 40 feet high and 56 feet thick. It became Spain’s largest fort in the Americas.

Today the heart of old Cartagena is a labyrinth of narrow cobblestone streets that open onto broad formal plazas. Street names change from block to block.

It might remind you of Istanbul, or Mdina on Malta. But instead of Muslim calls to prayer, it’s salsa and vallenato music all the time.

Cartagena’s history includes the sad story of slavery, the cruelty of some of the Spanish including a branch of the Inquisition, and more recent devolution into narcoterrorist chaos.

A CARTAGENA ALBUM

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After many years of neglect, Cartagena—the jewel of the nation—has been reborn.

For those who have a bit of money, the city is a Caribbean playground: A wild party in a place of great culture. They call it rumbeando.

“Partying, dancing all night, getting drunk, waking up early to go to the beach, then doing it again.”

All photos copyright 2015 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS,  PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

18 November 2014
 Cartagena, Spain

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Cartagena is on the Costa Cálida, the Warm Coast of Spain’s Murcia region.

This is one of Spain’s more historically significant places because of its superb and easily defended naval port. As far back as the 16th century Cartagena was one of Spain’s most important naval ports; it still is one of the homes of the Spanish navy, including a contingent of minesweepers and submarines.

The original settlement was called Mastia. About 227 BC, Hasdrubal the Fair established a town at the great harbor. He called the place Qart Hadasht, “New City”: The same name as where he had come from: Carthage, across the water in what is now Tunisia.

Hasdrubal used the port as launching point for the conquest of Spain.

Roman general Scipio Africanus conquered it in 209 BC and renamed it as Carthago Nova, which—a bit confusingly—means “New, New City.” At least that helped distinguish it from Carthage.

The Romans, from Julius Caesar to Octavian and beyond used Carthago in their conquest of the Iberian Peninsula. In 298 Diocletian constituted a new Roman province in Hispania called Carthaginensis and placed the capital in this city, a role it would hold for more than seven centuries until it was destroyed by the Vandals in 435.

When the first wave of Islamic tribes came to Hispania—the Umayyad invasion—the port was one of the landing places they used, along with Gibraltar.

Today Cartagena is a handsome coastal city,  holding within a section of ancient Punic or Phoenician wall, a Roman amphitheater (only rediscovered on 2000), Moorish fortifications,  16th century Christian sites including churches and crypts, and a beautiful downtown lined with Modernist or art nouveau buildings.

Here are some photos from my visit today.

A CARTAGENA ALBUM

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MURCIA and FUENSANTE

About 50 kilometers or 35 miles north of Cartagena in the interior is the town of Murcia, the provincial capital and university town, a much larger city of 440,000.

Murcia has a similar back-story to Cartagena, a mix of Roman, Moorish, and Spanish cultures.

Just outside of Murcia is the Monastery of the Virgin of Fuensanta, the patroness of Murcia.

In Murcia itself is the exquisite 19th century Murcia Casino, with an exterior inspired by the Alhambra in Granada; inside it is more like a British gentleman’s club, a place to socialize and play billiards.

A MURCIA ALBUM. Photos by Corey Sandler

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The Murcia Cathedral. Photos by Corey Sandler

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Monastery of the Virgin of Fuensanta. Photos by Corey Sandler

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Within the exquisite Murcia Casino. Photos by Corey Sandler

All photos by Corey Sandler. All rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.

 

3 April 2014: Cartagena and Murcia, Spain

By Corey Sandler, Silversea Destination Consultant

Cartagena is on the Costa Cálida, the Warm Coast of Spain’s Murcia region.

Cartagena is one of Spain’s more historically significant places because of its superb and easily defended naval port.

But Cartagena is less-known than many other coastal cities of Spain. In fact, its distant namesake, Cartagena de Indias, in Colombia, may be much better known.[whohit]-3APR2014 CARTAGENA SPAIN-[/whohit]

Cartagena, Colombia grew as one of the principal Spanish fortresses to hold the treasure taken from South America, the Caribbean, and Asia.

I spent the day about 50 kilometers or 30 miles inland, in the much larger and historically wealthier city of Murcia.

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The Fuensanta Monastery is on a hill overlooking the city of Murcia. Photos by Corey Sandler

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Fuensanta (Holy Spring or Holy Fountain) today serves mostly as the home of the icon of the Virgin Mary that is the patroness of Murcia. As Holy Week approaches, the icon is moved to the Cathedral of Murcia, where we saw it. Photos by Corey Sandler

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The Cathedral of Murcia holds pride of place in this city of 450,000. In the principal chapel, we found the icon from the Monastery, preparing for Holy Week. Photos by Corey Sandler

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Near the Cathedral is the Murcia Casino. No slot machines or games of chance: this is an opulent men’s club from the 19th century whose rooms offer a tour around the world. Women have been allowed to join since the 1920s. Photos by Corey Sandler

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If you’re looking to join the Casino, you’ll have to pay an initiation fee and a monthly membership but you won’t get into the club with the recommendation of two elder members–and that is the most difficult credential to obtain. Photos by Corey Sandler

Cartagena, Spain has long been a crossroads of civilizations and navies. It has a fine collection of early 20th century Art Nouveau buildings, intermixed with a spectacular Roman Theatre and remains of Phoenician, Byzantine and Moorish structures.

As far back as the 16th century Cartagena was one of Spain’s most important naval ports. Today it has a contingent of minesweepers and submarines, and a large naval shipyard. The original settlement was called Mastia. About 227 BC, Hasdrubal the Fair established a town at the great harbor. Hasdrubal used the port as launching point for the conquest of Spain.

Roman general Scipio Africanus conquered it in 209 BC. The Romans, from Julius Caesar to Octavian and beyond used Carthago in their conquest of the Iberian Peninsula. When the first wave of Islamic tribes came to Hispania—the Umayyad invasion—the port was one of the landing places they used, along with Gibraltar.

With the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the city went into decline.

All the usual suspects tried their hand here. The Vandals (409–425), the Visigoths (425–551 and 624–714), and then the Eastern Romans (551–624), who made it the capital of Spania, the Byzantine Empire’s westernmost province.

The Visigoths returned, but they were displaced by the Muslims in 714. Various Caliphates and Taifas held Cartagena from then until 1245.

It was in that year that King Alfonso X of Castile (Alfonso the Wise) conquered Cartagena, re-establishing Christian rule. In 1296 Cartagena was annexed to the Kingdom of Aragon as the Reconquista focused on the remaining Muslim kingdom, Granada, which fell in 1492.

Cartagena entered a period of decay, because Spain’s colonial activities used ports to the west. It did not fully recover until the 18th century. The Spanish began to use Cartagena as the home of their navy. That also made it a target. In September 1643 the French defeated most of the Spain’s fleet here.

Although there are some ruins from the Carthaginian ages, like the remains of the Punic rampart (built in 227 BC with the foundation of the city) and visible at the Muralla Púnica or Punic Wall museum in town, most of its oldest monuments date from the Roman Empire.

The restored Roman theatre of Carthago Nova was built about 1 BC, and was in use for more than four centuries before being abandoned. The remains were rediscovered in 1988 during a construction project, and in 2008 reopened as a museum.

Other Roman remains include a colonnade, the House of Fortune, the decumanus and the Augusteum. Not far from the Roman Theater are the ruins of the Santa María la Vieja Cathedral, built sometime after the Reconquista—the expulsion of the Muslims, which took place here about 1243.

The cathedral had been built over the upper part of the Roman theatre, recyclying some materials. A decorated floor of a Roman house of the 1st century BC was found in the crypt of the Cathedral.