The Obelisk was invented by the ancient Egyptians. It consists simply of a straight pylon which is very tall (15 meters and more) and monolithic, having four sides gradually attenuated and crowned at the top by a pyramid (pyramidon). Erected in honor of military heroes and pharaoh, they are inscribed with hieroglyphs that glorify and pay homage to their triumphs and achievements.
Some of the most antique obelisks were taken to Rome.  Napoleon expropriated one from Luxor in Thebes to adorn Paris.  And not to be outdone, the Anglo-Saxon community carried off another pair, known as The Needles of Cleopatra, one of  which is in London and the other in New York. The Washington monument in the capital of the US is an enormous obelisk.
Cartagena, another a city which is fond of its monuments, erected its own obelisk in the center of the Centennial Park opened 1911 to commemorate the one hundredth anniversary of the gaining of independence from Spain. The obelisk is a grandiose marble structure erected to honor the signatories of the Act of Independence.

This place was once occupied by a church which was completed in the year 1625.The theater was conceived by Rafael Nuñez, a Cartagenero who was president of Colombia for a record four terms, at the end of the 19th century but it was not actually completed until 1911 to commemorate the first 100 years of Cartagena’s independence from Spain.
Owing to thedramatic deterioration of the building its doors were temporarily closed at the beginning of the 1970s and during a little more than twentyyears a slow process of extensive restoration was undertaken.
In1998 the theater reopened its doors to become a cultural center for the performing arts.
The theater was built in the form of a horse shoe.  The box seats and balconies have cedar lattice work which gives it a lovely lacelike aspect but it actually had a very practical purpose as well.  Cartagena can be sweltering hot and this styleimproved ventilation. Both thepainting on the drop curtain and the ceiling were done by the well-known artistfrom Cartagena Enrique Grau. The painting on the drop curtain shows the flowers most typical of Cartagena and some of the most important monuments of the city.In the paintingon the ceiling you can admire all nine Greek muses floating in a blue sky withkites and birds soaring.

Tropical almond (Terminalia catappa), known in  Cartagena  simply as almendro, is a beautiful leafy tree of moderate height found in tropical zones, especially in coastal areas. It bends nicely with the breeze and tolerates the levels of salinity found in much of the soil here on the northern coast of Colombia. This lush tree, famous for the shade it gives, can reach to up to 35 meters high growing  in  the forests but in urban areas it generally grows to between four and ten meters in height. A notable reason for which the almond is a tree frequently planted in Cartagena is its root system does not go down very deep soit grows easily in well-drained sandy soils – and this also means that it’s guaranteed not to break up the sidewalks, or weaken the foundations of  walls.  Some of the oldest almond trees in Cartagena are found in the magnificent Cloister of Santo Domingo. The Spanish Agency for international Cooperation for Development which has its headquarters there was responsible for the restoration work.
In the novel Love in the Time of Cholera by  Gabriel Garcia Márquez, the main character, Florentino Ariza, used to sit in the shade of an almond tree on the farthest bench of the Little Park ofthe Evangels (today Plaza Fernandez de Madrid) waiting for a chance to get afurtive glimpse of Fermina  Daza, the young girl who has captivated hisheart forever.

In Cartagena architecture, a turret or watchtower on top of a building which provides a panoramic view.
The mirador has its origin in the mid-east and in the Mediterranean where it was utilzed for military, religious and, of course, domestic purposes.
The miradors of Cartagena, where they form part of the tall colonial style house, are faithful copies of those to be seen in the Spanish city of Cádiz.

In Cartagena de Indias, from its founding right up until the beginning of the 20th century there was no nearby natural source of potable water. To compensate for this basic deficiency the Spaniards constructed cisterns throughout the city. Cisterns were built not only in the central  patios of the houses, convents and certain plazas but  also in the fortresses and along the walls.

The largest remaining cisterns are to be found in  the Convent of La Popa and the Castle of San Felipe. Today in Cartagena it is, unfortunately, increasingly common to see a swimming pool where the patio used to be and of course the cistern has been eliminated with it. Such is “restoration” in Cartagena euphemistically understood.  But where patios remain intact you’ll still often find a cistern still there.

In 1905 the Matute Aqueduct began to provide the city with water from Turbaco. Cartagena’s population was barely   nine thousand people at that time, today it has close to a million. Nevertheless, day to day water needs are still supplied by a sole aqueduct, which  opened in 1940, fed by the waters of the Canal del Dique, a man made canal to connect the Bay of Cartagena to the Magdalena River. Magdalena is the main river in Colombia.

“For a longtime the water in the cisterns was blamed,  and with pride, as the cause of scrotal hernia that so many men in the city endured not only without embarrassment, but even with a certain patriotic insolence.” Gabriel García Márquez in Love in the Time of Cholera.

One of the essential elements of the two-story colonial house in Cartagena is the balcony. In fact there is no other city in the world which can boast the number of wooden balconies which present themselves to the eye in the streets of Cartagena de Indias.
From some of them spill over cascades of color from climbing flowering vines – or leaping from one balcony to another. Cartagena balconies are a real feast for the eye because of the color and greenish of the tropical plants used for decorating them, especially the bougainvillea or veranera, hibiscus and other ornamental plants.
From colonial times and until very recently the balcony had a very practical purpose: in the late afternoons people used to sit on the balconies to freshen up taking the breeze coming up off the sea, to read, knit, embroider, sew, chat about the day’s events or to watch passers-by.

On Sunday the 13th of March, 1622, in front of the Door of Pardon of the Cathedral (on the Plaza of the Proclamation) for the very first time in the history of the Inquisition in Cartagena de Indias a person was burned alive.

The condemned man was a young 32-year-old Englishman named Adam Haydon (in the Spanish chronicles written as Adan Edón) who, in the year 1619, had been sent by an English merchant based in Seville to South America to buy tobacco in Cumaná, Venezuela where his company had a contact to do business.