Cartagena History: A City with a Story to…
Cartagena’s Sister Cities and Twin Towns Around the World
Modern Cartagena has done much to improve its economy and international image over the past few decades. It has become a top tourist destination in Colombia and has risen to prominence as the fifth largest city in the country. New businesses are popping up daily and international entrepreneurs are bringing their expertise and creative drive to this Colombian vacation destination.
A great deal of that success can be traced back to active economic development efforts including partnerships with other cities around the world.
What is a Twin Town (or Sister City)?
A Twin Town or Sister City is simply a city that shares a mutually beneficial legal and/or social agreement with another city or town. As far as the terminology is concerned, there’s no real difference between the two except that the term Twin Town is used more widely in parts of Europe and the U.K. whereas “Sister City” is used more often in The United States and Australia.
Most of these agreements are designed to promote cultural and commercial ties between the cities and promote tourism and trade between the two. Usually these agreements are based upon a shared heritage (such as Cartagena’s deep Hispanic roots which link it to Coral Gables, San Juan, and Cádiz) but not always. Sometimes the tie that binds is simply economic.
The Original Twin City in Cartagena
The city of Cartagena was founded in the early 1500’s by Spanish captain Pedro de Heredia. While there was already a Spanish outpost on the land, this official designation gave the Colombian city prominence within the Spanish Empire which would lead to a massive influx of money, people, and trade.
Heredia decided to name the city Cartagena after Cartagena, Spain simply because that’s from where most of his crewmembers hailed. This naturally created a link between the two cities which was later codified in writing.
Cities “Twinned” with Cartagena, Colombia
Cartagena has been actively seeking out partnerships around the world for decades and has linked with some very interesting—and sometimes unexpected—locations across the globe. Below are twin towns around the world which share active relationships with the Caribbean gem.
• Cartagena, Spain (since 1533)
• Cádiz, Spain (since 1986)
• Saint Augustine, United States (since 1986)
• San Juan, Puerto Rico
• Coral Gables, United States
• Blacktown, Australia
• San Cristóbal de La Laguna, Spain
• Batumi, Georgia