Puerta del Reloj
History and museums
The Puerta del Reloj, Torre del Reloj or Boca del Puente is the main city gate of the historic center of Cartagena de Indias, in Colombia and the original entrance of the fortified city. It is located between the squares Plaza de Independencia and Plaza de los Coches. The name "Puerta del Reloj" responds to the clock with which it was crowned at the beginning of the 18th century. While the name of Boca del Puente is due to the fact that during the colonial period, a drawbridge was raised at the foot of the channel of San Anastasio, which linked the walled city to the legendary Getsemaní neighborhood. Besides, the bridge served as a defense of the city, since in case of enemy attack, this one was raised to prevent the access of buccaneers and pirates.
Also, the gate was protected by the bastions of San Pedro Apóstol (now disappeared) and the one of San Juan Bautista.
It has a Postclassic style in its facade, precursory of those that preconizar the treaties on fortification of the second half of 18th century. The Puerta del Reloj is the work of the military engineer Juan de Herrera y Sotomayor, founder of the Cartagena Academy, and its style recalls the facade of the church of the convento of San Francisco in the city of Santo Domingo. In fact, both gates present a half-point Roman arch, flanked by two pairs of Tuscan columns, and the same entablature with a frieze decorated with triglyphs.
For the connoisseurs, this gate is one of the most successful works of the Spanish-American Fortification School and possibly one of the best preserved in the New World, as it strictly complies with the opinions of the Vauban school.
Among the locals, this gate is known as Boca del Puente, but for non-natives of Cartagena, it is simply the Puerta del Reloj.