Weekly Photo Challenge: Blending Old and New Landscapes in Cartagena

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” ~ Socrates

The Weekly Photo Challenge is Landscape.

Cartagena, Colombia is a perfect blend of old and new. Known for 6.8 miles of protective walls built around the city, the historic center or Old Town is the soul of Cartagena.


The great wall was built in different stages and it took a great deal of time to build to protect the city. It was Italian engineer Bautista Antonelli who decided to begin the work in 1586 and it was completed in 1796.

Peering from the ancient walls, Bocagrande (Big Mouth) is the tourist, skyscraper, hotel, and condo area of Cartagena.  Such a contrast of old and new.
IMG_1188Cartagena is an open air museum with activities for everyone from culture and history to fun and sun on the beaches.
IMG_0365From 1739-1748 the Battle of Cartagena between the British and the Spaniards took place. Old cannon balls once used to fire on the enemy, are now used to mark the roadways.
IMG_0861Blending cannons and watching tourists enjoy the sunset from the lookout on the wall, makes for an interesting photo.
IMG_1458The city landscape throughout the Old Town is a delightful mixture of crumbling abode walls, Bougainvillea spilling over balconies, and lime-color clothed workers cleaning the streets.
IMG_1276Oh my! Cartagena’s colorful past extends into the present day.
IMG_1238The bohemian section of Cartagena, Getsemani, is revitalized with recycled plastic bottles.
IMG_0367Throughout Getsemani, works of art and graffiti cover the crumbling adobe walls.
IMG_1196In March, Cartagena becomes a huge screening room for the International Film Festival. Heredia Theatre, shown below, opened in 1911, inspired by the Teatro Tacón of Havana, and designed by Jose Enrique Jaspe. After years of abandonment, it was rebuilt in the 1990s and continues to be a cultural center and my favorite place to watch the films at the International Film Festival.
IMG_1312Theaters in the Barrios treat onlookers to free movies throughout the walled city. Below, hidden among the cathedral domes and old adobe walls is the modern outdoor movie theater.
IMG_0889Cartagena’s masterful landscape is a perfect example of energy focused not on fighting the old, but incorporating the new into their beautiful city.

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