Just outside the old centre of Cartagena is an impressive structure: the Castillo San Felipe de Barajas. The fort was built shortly after the foundation of Cartagena to protect the new colonial port city and its supplies of gold and silver from pirate attacks. History has proven that this was a wise decision.
The powerful structure has undergone regular expansions and reinforcements until it became the largest Spanish fort in the Americas – the highest point towers 41 metres above sea level. A network of tunnels was built in the heart of the fort. These tunnels were useful for moving troops quickly through the fortress, while any intruders would easily get lost in the underground maze. For centuries the fort has protected the city from sea and land attacks.