The San Felipe de Barajas Castle is situated to the northeast of the Historic Downtown of Cartagena de Indias and is literally on top of the San Lázaro Hill, 40 meters at its highest elevation. During the Colony, it was […]
The construction of San Felipe was approved by the Royal Decree of September 20, 1657, and it was only until October 12, 1657 that the first part of the castle was finished, designed by the Dutch engineer Ricardo Carr. The first construction was a triangular bonnet, or outwork, at the top of the hill with four sentry-boxes, a cistern, warehouse and barracks for 20 soldiers and four artillerymen, with 15 cannons.
This small castle was not exempt from enemy attack, and in 1697 it fell during the siege led by the high official of the French Navy, Jean-Bernard Desjeans. The ruin caused by this attack was repaired by Juan de Herrera y Sotomayor, who reinforced the fortress without changing its original design. The reinforcement was tested during the attack perpetrated in 1741 by the English, under the command of the naval officer Edward Vernon. San Felipe fulfilled its purpose and succeeded in repelling the enemy intent to take it.
In 1762 the Spanish military engineer Antonio de Arévalo designed and initiated the enlargement of the Castle of San Felipe de Barajas, which was reinforced with collateral batteries giving its current appearance to this colonial construction without comparison in America.
Situated in the southern section of the castle, it protected with five cannons the access from the San Lázaro beach and the Cocal swamp, it was initially made out of kindling sticks around 1739 by the engineer Juan de Herrera and Sotomayor. Antonio de Arévalo reconstructed it in its definitive form between 1762 and 1769, adding three cisterns each with a capacity for 72,000 rations of water.
Constructed about 1762 in the northeastern section, with its seven cannons it could reach the Popa Peak.
Situated between the batteries of Cruz and Santa Barbara, it defended the access from El Cabrero with eleven cannons. It was constructed between 1762 and 1769.
A sister to the Battery of La Cruz, it reinforced the northern section of the Castle of San Felipe with six cannons. Initially built in kindling sticks around 1739 by Juan de Herrera and Sotomayor, it was one of the last batteries finished by Antonio de Arévalo between 1762 and 1769.
Situated in the northern section, it communicates with the castle from underneath the Hornwork and is dominated by fire from the castle and the Battery of La Redención. Its construction was carried out between 1762 and 1769, and it had the greatest firepower, with thirteen cannons.
This was constructed between 1762 and 1769 in the northwestern section. It is the collateral battery in the Hornwork and connects the defense with San Carlos and Santa Barbara, with eight cannons.