Cartagena or Cartagena de Indias (Spanish pronunciation: [kartaˈxena ðe ˈindjas], Cartagena of the Indies), is a large port and industrial city on the northern coast of Colombia in the Caribbean Coast Region and capital of the Bolívar Department. The city had a population of 892,545 as of the 2005 census. It is the fifth-largest city in Colombia. The Cartagena urban area is the fifth-largest urban area in Colombia. Cartagena economic activities include maritime, petrochemicals, and tourism.
Activity and development of the Cartagena region, and the area around Cartagena Bay, by various indigenous people dates to 4000 BC. The Spanish colonial city was founded on June 1, 1533, and named after Cartagena, Spain. Cartagena served a key role in the development of the region during the Spanish eras; 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.