Catedral de Santa Catalina – Cartagena

The Cathedral of Cartagena, (officially named Catedral Basa­lica Metropolitana de Santa Catalina de Alejandra) is located deep in the old city.  It is the episcopal sight of the Archbishop of Cartagena de Indias, one of the oldest episcopal sights in the Americas which continues to run as a working church, with mass every morning.

Construction began in 1577, replacing a humble cathedral of straw and reeds. In 1586, while the church was still under construction, it was attacked by the English privateer Francis Drake, who caused severe damage and delayed its completion. The building was finally finished in 1612.

The cathedral has a fine doorway and a simply decorated interior. It contains an 18th-century gilded altar, a marble pulpit and elegant arcades sustaining the central nave.  Devoid of the typical upgrades of modern churches (air conditioning, speakers, etc), this church is a wonderful throwback to the old world.