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Fort San Fernando is located in Bocachica. Photo: Fortifications Cartagena
Fort San Fernando is located in Bocachica. Photo: Fortifications Cartagena

Cartagena Destinations: The Fort of San Fernando de Bocachica

The Fort of San Fernando is part of the fortifications of Cartagena.

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Within the area of Cartagena, stand two large forts made of stone and the walls during the Spanish colonial period. One of them is the Castle of San Felipe de Barajas, and the other is the Fort of San Fernando de Bocachica. 

Shaped like a horseshoe, the fort of San Fernando de Bocachica was built in a high place on the island of Carex (turtle, in the Caribbean language) that today is called Tierrabomba. The plans were drawn up by engineer Mac Evan and construction began in 1753. At both ends, there are two bastions facing north. The vaults were used as prisons.

The fort was built on the ruins of the Castle of San Luis de Bocachica, whose work began in 1646 by engineer Juan de Somovilla and named after Governor Luis Fernandez de Cordoba.

The castle helped in the defense of Cartagena and was taken by French forces in 1697, and English in 1741.

During the Augsburg League War, the French and pirate forces of Baron de Pointis and the filibuster Ducasse attacked Cartagena in 1697 and took the Fort of San Luis defended by 139 men under the command of Sancho Jimeno, after a two-day siege.

During the War of the Seat, the siege of Cartagena took place, in which the English troops attacked Spanish positions. On March 13, 1741, British troops landed in the city, destroying the castle under artillery fire and English ships.

In 1753, the construction of a new fortress, the Fort San Fernando de Bocachica, began on the ruins of the previous one. 

How to visit the Fort of Bocachica? 

Admission to the forts in the insular corregimiento of Bocachica is free and open Monday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

To get to Bocachica in Tierrabomba, visitors can take a boat at the Tourist Pier La Bodeguita, in the Historic Center. There, you must pay the ticket and the port departure tax.

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