Plaza Santo Domingo lies at the heart of the old walled city of Cartagena and is one of the city's most famous squares.

The Story of Plaza Santo Domingo Cartagena

The Story of Plaza Santo Domingo & Fernando Botero, Colombia’s most famous artist

Plaza Santo Domingo lies at the heart of the old walled city of Cartagena and is one of the city’s most famous squares. The square is named after the Santo Domingo Church that stands in one of its corners and is lined with charming colonial buildings. The restaurants provide ample outdoor seating and are the perfect spot for dinner or a nightcap. The lively square is full of tourists and street vendors at all hours of the day.

 

Sadly, the square has a sordid past and was the site of executions during the Spanish Inquisition where Jewish people and non-Catholics were persecuted.  There is even a legend that the Devil himself tried jumping on the roof of the Church of Santo Domingo You can learn more about this tragic time in Cartagena’s history at the Palace of the Inquisition.

 

The Story of Plaza Santo Domingo Cartagena

 

Luckily, today the square is a charming place with beautiful buildings and talented street musicians. However, the star of Plaza Santo Domingo is undoubtedly La Gorda Gertrudis, a Rubenesque bronze beauty that lies naked on a pedestal in the square.  Rumor has it that if you give her breast a rub, you will have good luck.  This rotund bronze statue was created by the world-famous Colombian artist Fernando Botero.

 

 

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Botero was born in Medellin in 1932.  His signature and easily recognizable, style depicts figures with voluminous and exaggerated proportions.   He began creating sculptures after moving to Paris in 1973 and by the 1990s, he had gained international acclaim.   His paintings and sculptures range from political commentary (one of his paintings depicts the death of Pablo Escobar) to whimsical versions of classic paintings (including a pleasantly plump version of the Mona Lisa).  He has created paintings of families, and couples, and sculptures of animals, and people.

The Story of Plaza Santo Domingo Cartagena

The main Botero Museum is located in Bogota; however, you can also find 25 of his statues in Botero Square in Medellin and many more of his works in the adjoining Museum of Antioquia.  You can also find his work scattered around the world including Monaco, Italy, Greece, France, and the United States. There is even one of his sculptures in Columbus Circle in New York City.

 

Our Concierge Dream Team will be happy to plan a Dream Experience of your preference for you and your group.

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