Cartagena

Cartagena

[kahr-tuh-jee-nuh; Sp. kahr-tah-he-nah]
Cartagena, city (1993 pop. 616,231), capital of Bolívar dept., NW Colombia, a port on the Bay of Cartagena in the Caribbean Sea. It exports oil, coffee, and platinum. Manufactures include leather and tobacco products, cosmetics, and textiles. Tourism is a growing industry. Cartagena was founded in 1533 and became the treasure city of the Spanish Main, where precious stones and minerals from the New World awaited transshipment to Spain. Although the harbor was guarded by 29 stone forts and the city was encircled by a high wall of coral, Cartagena suffered sackings and invasions—in 1544, 1560, and in 1586 (by Sir Francis Drake). In 1741 it withstood a three-month British siege. The city was the first of those in Colombia and Venezuela to declare (1811) absolute independence from Spain. Known as the Republic of Cartagena, it was one of the bases used by Simón Bolívar to launch his campaign to liberate Venezuela. In 1815 the city was besieged and captured by the Spanish general Pablo Morillo, who inflicted savage reprisals on the population. Captured by rebel forces in 1821, Cartagena was incorporated into Colombia. After the revolution the city lost its importance and did not regain it until the 20th cent., with the improvement of communications and the laying of a pipeline to the oil fields of the Magdalena basin. Shady plazas and narrow cobblestone streets make Cartagena one of the most picturesque cities in Latin America. Points of interest include walls and fortifications from colonial times, a 16th-century cathedral, and the Univ. of Cartagena.
Cartagena, Lat. Carthago Nova, city (1990 pop. 175,966), Murcia prov., SE Spain, on the Mediterranean Sea. A major seaport and naval base, it has a fine natural harbor, protected by forts, with a naval arsenal and important shipbuilding and metallurgical industries. Lead, iron, and zinc are mined and processed nearby, but the rich silver mines exploited in ancient times by Carthaginians and Romans are now almost exhausted. The city is an episcopal see. It was founded by Hasdrubal c.225 B.C. and soon became a flourishing port, the chief Carthaginian base in Spain. Captured (209 B.C.) by Scipio Africanus Major, it continued to flourish under the Romans. The Moors, who took it in the 8th cent., later included it in Murcia. The Spaniards recovered it definitively in the 13th cent. Cartagena was sacked (1585) by Sir Francis Drake and figured later in the Peninsular and Carlist wars. It served as the Loyalist naval base during the civil war (1936-39). In the 20th cent. it has suffered from the competition of other Mediterranean ports (e.g., Barcelona, Málaga, and Valencia). The medieval Castillo de la Concepción, whose ruins are surrounded by fine gardens, commands a splendid view of the city and harbor. No traces of the ancient city remain.

Port city (pop., 2001: 184,686), southeastern Spain. Founded by the Carthaginians under Hasdrubal in 227 BC, it was captured by Scipio Africanus the Elder in 209 BC and made a Roman colony. It was sacked by the Goths in AD 425. It was held by the Moors from 711 until it was taken by James I of Aragon in 1269. In the 16th century Philip II made it a great naval port; it remains Spain's chief Mediterranean naval base as well as a commercial port.

Learn more about Cartagena with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Search another word or see Cartagenaon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature
FAVORITES
RECENT

;