Although Getsemani is often one of the top choices for backpackers and budget travelers visiting Cartagena.

 

The street art of getsemani

 

Although Getsemani is often overshadowed by the old walled city, the neighborhood’s Bohemian charm and close proximity to the old town have made it one of the top choices for backpackers and budget travelers visiting Cartagena. The neighborhood is full of charming restaurants, coffee shops, and bars as well as an astonishing array of street art. The brightly colored murals depict animals, and people and feature bright colors and swirling patterns.  You can find tropical scenes, Colombian palenqueras, folk tales, and references to Afro-Colombian culture.

 

Although you can street art along the walls everywhere in Getsemani, the majority of the murals can be found on Calle Sierpe and the adjoining side streets.  One of the best places to visit is the Callejón Angosto.  This narrow alleyway has colorful umbrellas hanging above you and the walls are painted.  Come early though if you want to get good photos as the street gets very crowded.

 

 

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The history of the murals and the neighborhood is almost as interesting as the murals themselves. Getsemani was once a semi-industrial area and was where the servants and lower-class people lived.  It was also home to pimps and prostitutes and it was not considered particularly safe.  Local artists, with the communities support, decided to give their neighborhood a new lease on life and began to transform the drab concrete walls into brightly colored works of art.

 

The street art of getsemani

 

The transformation has gradually led to the gentrification of Getsemani and all of the benefits and problems that come with it. Although there has been a flood of new businesses, local residents are being priced out of the neighborhood and local restaurants are being replaced by trendy eateries.  Multi-generational family homes are becoming hostels and boutique hotels complete with swimming pools and bars.

 

Although things are changing rapidly in the neighborhood, the street art of Getsemani allows the history and personality of the neighborhood to live on. It was here in Plaza Trinidad that the first Colombian independence movement began and this feeling of independence, edginess, and strength can still be found today.

 

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