Each 11 November in Colombia is Independence of Cartagena Day. This patriotic holiday looks back to the day in 1811 when the city of Cartagena declared its freedom from Spain. This became a key event in the step by step achievement of Colombian independence.
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The city of Cartagena was founded by the Spanish in 1533, its name being derived by the famous city of the same name back in the Spanish homeland. The new colony grew slowly at first, but when it became part of the newly carved out Viceroyalty of New Granada in 1717, it began to grow rapidly. It soon became a centre of the silver trade and became one of the wealthiest of all New World cities.
When Spain was invaded by Napoleon’s French armies, the time was ripe for revolt in Latin America. Cartagena was one of the earliest parts of New Spain to rebel, declaring its independence on 11 November, 1811. In 1815, Cartagena was nearly annihilated by the war, and it was years later before all Colombia was free. But Colombians look back to the bravery of this city’s early patriots and celebrate it with parades, a Miss Colombia Pageant, and other festivities every year.