Street scene in the northern city of Cartagena. Because of the mild climate and abundance of wildlife in the area, settlement around Cartagena goes back to 7000 B.C. The city's colonial walled section and fortress have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Cartagena is a city and major port on the northern coast of Colombia. Founded in 1533, it was a center of political, ecclesiastical, and economic activity and one of Spain’s most important colonies in the Americas. Cartagena's colonial walled city and fortress are designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its buildings of colorful hues are an example of Spanish architecture.
Colombia is the world's largest producer of emeralds, more than half of the emeralds in the world come from Colombia. The Muzo Mine, located northwest of Bogota, is one of the most renowned deposits of emeralds in the country. Colombian emeralds are known for their high-quality and for their highly prized rare deep green color. The 167 carat "Mackay Emerald" pictured here is an example of a Colombian emerald. The "Mackay Emerald" is the largest cut emerald in the Smithsonian National Gem Collection. The Art Deco-style necklace was a wedding gift in 1931 from Clarence Mackay to his wife, Anna Case, a world-renowned soprano at the New York Metropolitan Opera from 1909 to 1920. Upon her death in 1984, the necklace was bequeathed to the Smithsonian. Photo courtesy of the Smithsonian Institute.
The Cattleya trianae orchid is the national flower of Colombia and is named in honor of the 19th century Colombian botanist Jose Jeronimo Triana.