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Cartagena de Indias preserves inside the walls of its Old City and those of Castillo de San Felipe a large portion of Colombian history, since it was the main communication port with Europe.
Al puerto de Cartagena llegan los veleros más lujosos del mundo / Photo: User of Flickr Flowery *L*u*z*a*.
From May 19 to 23 of 2010 Cartagena will host the International Sail 2010 Festival during which dozens of the largest, most beautiful vessels of this type, from many countries around the world will arrive at the city’s port to commemorate the Bicentennial Independence Day.
Amidst sailboat races, concerts, sports competitions, cultural events, and a folklore and food festival participants will enjoy the beauty and magic of the Walled City.
Sail 2010 will include close to 30 guest countries, among which are Germany, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Spain, United States, France, India, Mexico, United Kingdom, and Peru.
Visit the official portal of Sail 2010.
Castillo San Felipe de Barajas in Cartagena / Photo: Flickr user zug55.
The commemoration of Colombia’s independence is July 20th, 1810 but Cartagena declared itself a free and independent state on November 11th, 1811, and even disregarded before the Spanish Crown the validity of the pro-independence movement, taking place in the interior of the country as it disagreed with the government system proposed by them.
The Gutiérrez de Piñeres brothers with the support of the citizens led this movement, but lost control once again on December 14th, 1814 when the native and Spanish oligarchy led by José María de Toledo reassumed power.
Cartagena was among the most difficult colonial towns to win independence from the Spanish.
For this reason and due to the lack of cooperation of the ‘toledistas’ to regain control of the city of Santa Marta, Simón Bolívar –main hero of the independence, besieged the city in 1815. That same year, the Spanish started a series of attacks in order to recover the territories lost during the Liberating Campaign.
Thus, Cartagena de Indias remained in the middle of the fight for power between the Crown and the pro-independence movement until 1821, year in which it won its freedom.
Close to the Heroic City –as the Walled City is also referred to– is located Santa Marta, home to the Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino where Simón Bolívar died on December 17th, 1839.