The Spanish Navy Training Ship ‘Juan Sebastián de Elcano’ visits Cartagena de Indias (Colombia).

Thursday, May 11, 2023

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The ‘Juan Sebastián de Elcano’ arriving at Cartagena de Indias.
The ‘Juan Sebastián de Elcano’ arriving at Cartagena de Indias.
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The ‘Juan Sebastián de Elcano’ arriving at Cartagena de Indias.
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Statue of Lieutenant General Blas de Lezo.
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Homage to the victims of the Battle of Barú.
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Midshipmen in formation at the feet of Fort ‘San Felipe’.

The Spanish Navy training ship ‘Juan Sebastián de Elcano’ has visited the Colombian city of Cartagena de Indias. It is the sixth port the ship visits in the course of her 95th training cruise.

A very well-known city to Spanish sailors for the historical importance it had throughout the Spanish rule in South America, which began in the early years of the sixteenth century and lasted for more than 275 years; and for being a strategic point of the fleet of Spanish galleons that transported goods to the Iberian Peninsula. For all this, it became the most important city of the Viceroyalty of New Granada and the most fortified site in all of South America and the Caribbean.

Upon arriving to the city, a Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag ceremony was held on board for all those Spanish citizens who wished to participate, and on the last day of the stay, the ship set sail with the Spanish Ambassador to Colombia, Joaquín de Arístegui heading towards the area where the Spanish galleon ‘San José’ sank during the Battle of Barú in 1708. In a simple but poignant ceremony, a wreath was laid in the vicinity of the improvised tomb.

The visit of the ‘Juan Sebastián de Elcano’, a floating Ambassador and Navigator, was framed within the celebrations of the Bicentennial of the Colombian Navy, and was the starting signal for the commemorative events. The good bilateral relations between both Navies, as well as this anniversary, were highlighted in all the speeches, as well as the Colombian gratitude for the participation of the ship in the scheduled events.

In addition, a commission of the ship attended the inauguration of a cartographic exhibition of Colombia and America at the Spanish Cooperation Centre, in which the Commanding Officer participated in a round table on cartography and sailing.

The constant signs of affection of the local population testify to the great work that Spain carried out in America, as was the good treatment given and received, and the common ties, fruit of a shared history


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