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Cartagena is a large Caribbean beach resort city on the northern coast of Colombia.
The Downtown area of Cartagena has varied architecture, mainly a colonial style, but republican and Italian style buildings, such as the Cathedral's bell tower, can be seen. Cartagena's Cathedral, with its massive exterior, simple interior and fortress appearance was begun in 1575, partially demolished by Sir Francis Drake's cannons, and completed in 1602.Located in el Pie de la Popa area is the Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas, the greatest fortress ever built by the Spaniards in their colonies. The original fort was constructed between 1639 and 1657 on top of San Lazaro Hill. Las Bóvedas are dungeons initially built for military purposes but now house boutiques and tourist shops. Overlooking the fortress, the Convento de la Popa offers a great view of the city, the convent now houses a museum and the chapel of the Virgen de la Candelaria, Cartagena's patron saint. Cartagena's newer areas, Bocagrande and El Laguito, have become the fashionable locations of upscale hotels, restaurants and shops.
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