Cartagena, known since the colonial era as Cartagena de Indias, is a city and major port on the northern coast of Colombia in the Caribbean Coast Region. Founded in 1533, the city's strategic location between the Magdalena and Sinú Rivers gave it easy access to the interior of New Granada and made it a main port for trade between Spain and its overseas empire, establishing its importance by the early 1540s. During the colonial era it was a key port for the export of Peruvian silver to Spain and for the import of enslaved Africans under the asiento system. It was defensible against pirate attacks in the Caribbean.
Cartagena has a population of over 914,600 people. Cartagena also forms part of the wider Cartagena metropolitan area which has a population of over 1,071,000 people.
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