The old walled city of Cartagena is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Don’t get me going on how UNESCO is blowing the value of their brand by applying it to so many places and things. Like to traditional Japanese or Mexican cuisine. The walled city deserves the recognition. It reminds of a much larger and in some ways less touristy version of Antigua in Guatemala. If you are into photography , you could take pictures on every corner for weeks on end and not get bored.
Lots of 16th and 17th century churches, government buildings and just plain houses.
Street after street of colonial and republic buildings. Colonial being the buildings put up during Spanish rule (1533-1717) and Republic after the independence of Cartagena (Nov. 11, 1811). That’s 11-11-11. The same day they do the country’s beauty pageant every year.
We took a detour into the museum of the Spanish Inquisition, the building where they actually held the inquisitions in Cartagena. Chris really liked the bruja section – witches. The seat above is where the accused witches were strapped in and a metal screw was slowly twisted into the base of the neck, until the unfortunate ‘witch’ confessed.
They also used simpler methods to determine if a woman was a witch. Weighing was effective. If they were too light, then they could fly and were clearly a witch. If they were too heavy, then they were full of sin and were also clearly a witch. No wonder women are so obsessed with their weight.
Here is a list of questions that helped the Inquisitors determine if a women was a witch. A few sample questions:
1. How long have you been a witch?
6. What is the name of your master amongst the evil spirits?
11. What demons and people attended your wedding?
22. To which children have you cast the curse of the ‘evil eye’ and why did you do it?
25. Why does the devil strike you blows at night?
27. How can you fly through the sky?
31. What worms and caterpillars/slugs have you created?
33. Has the devil put a bow/ribbon to your curses/oaths?
Now really, how many people could pass this test today without a lawyer?
Here is a tile plaque excusing the Inquisition as not that bad and an artifact of the times that suffers from exaggeration. Argh!
Those that forget the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them.