Culture, you say? Cartagena is a veritable pot of yoghurt – only more delicious and less subject to the ravages of time. And, unlike an unnecessarily strained metaphor, everything about this venerable town feels magically right. Of course we could point out the obvious by gesturing to the majestic architecture this town serves up with such carefree flair; from its castles, churches, and walls; to its cobbled streets and plazas. That’s easy. But if you add to this fascinating, world-class museums such as the Museum of Modern Art and the Gold Museum, along with such colonial oddities as the Inquisition Palace, you start to get a real idea of the cultural delicacies Cartagena flaunts so sassily. There’s also a generous serving of premium cultural events, such as the Hay Literature Festival and the International Music Festival. Yummers.
Less refined perhaps, but just as pleasing to the cultural palate, is the music pulsing in Cartagena’s veins, which can be tasted most distinctly in the lavish servings of clubs and bars this city boasts. The most exquisite fruits of Colombia’s thriving beauty industry are on display each year in the National Beauty Pageant as well. All these far-fetched culinary allusions, though, were probably stimulated by the outrageously flavour-packed food Cartagena is becoming famous for; food that reflects the rich and varied heritage of the people that make up this richly complex city. It’s all waiting for you, guys: dig in!
Officially opened by the Banco de La Republica in 1982, Cartagena’s gold museum is home to an impressive collection of artifacts from pre-columbian cultures. In 1984 it was refurbished and the focus turned specifically to Zunú cultural artefacts and histories. Located within Cartagena’s historic walled city in the Plaza de Bolivar, the Gold Museum holds more than 500 gold pieces, 61 ceramic artefacts and other shell and bone collections which transport you back to the time of Colombia’s indigenous peoples.