Cartagena or Cartagena de Indias (Spanish pronunciation: [kartaˈxena ðe ˈindjas], "Cartagena of the Indies"), is a city on the northern coast of Colombia in the Caribbean Coast Region and capital of the Bolívar Department. The port city had a population of 892,545 as of the 2005 census. It is the fifth-largest city in Colombia and the second largest in the region, after Barranquilla. The Cartagena urban area is also the fifth-largest urban area in the country. Economic activities include maritime and petrochemicals industry, as well as tourism.
The city was founded on June 1, 1533, and named after Cartagena, Spain. However, settlement in this region around Cartagena Bay by various indigenous people dates back to 4000 BC. During the colonial period Cartagena served a key role in administration and expansion of the Spanish empire. It was a center of political and economic activity due to the presence of royalty and wealthy viceroys. Cartagena is the city most associated with pirates in the Caribbean, and the world. In 1984 Cartagena's colonial walled city and fortress were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
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