Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Philatelic Photograph: Castillo San Felipe de Barajas - Cartagena, Colombia

Castillo San Felipe de Barajas
Cartagena, Colombia

N 10° 25.333 W 075° 32.347

Short Description: 

The sentry box is located on the western part of the Castillo San Felipe de Barajas in Cartagena, Colombia.

Long Description:

The Castillo San Felipe de Barajas is a fortress in the city of Cartagena, Colombia. It is strategically located on the hill of San Lázaro overlooking the old walled part of the City of Cartagena to the east and controlling all other land and sea approaches to the city.

The stone fortress was built by the Spanish during the colonial era between 1536 and 1767. Construction began in 1536, was significantly expanded in 1657, and again in 1763 by Antonio de Arévalo. In 1697, during the War of the Grand Alliance, the castle fell to the French privateer Baron de Pointis. The fortress was recaptured by the Spanish repaired by commander José de Herrera y Sotomayor in 1739. British Admiral Edward Vernon attacked the fortress in the 1741 during the Battle of Cartagena de Indias but was repelled by the Spanish Admiral Blas de Lezo.

The sentry box depicted on the stamp is unique to the fortress and is located on the west end of the fortress walls, overlooking the walled city. It is depicted on an airmail stamp issued by Colombia in 1964. The three dates on the stamp 1811, 1812 and 1815 refer the Colombia declaration of independence from Spain in 1811, the visit of Simon Bolivar in 1812, and the siege of Cartagena in 1815 by a Spanish expeditionary fleet under Pablo Morillo during the war for independence.

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