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City (pop., 2003 est.: 902,688), Colombia. Located on the northern coast, it has a good harbour and is Colombia's principal port for oil exports. Founded in 1533, it became one of Spanish America's chief cities. It was strongly fortified and often attacked, notably by British forces under Francis Drake (c. 1585–86) and Edward Vernon (c. 1741–42). It remained under Spanish control until the province of Cartagena, which included the city, declared independence in 1811. After reverting back to Spanish control in 1815, the city was recaptured by patriot forces in 1821. It declined in the 19th century but regained prominence in the 20th century as an oil-processing centre.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Cartagena, visit Britannica.com.