During the last International Music Festival of Cartagena de Indias, I had the opportunity to visit a place where words fall short to describe the beauty and charm that houses a building in the Historical Center and is known as La Casa 1537.
Located on the corner of Calle del Colegio and Calle del Coliseo, it was built at the time of the Colony and, in the place where the main hall is currently located, there used to be the chapels of San Cosme and San Damián.
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In 1537, in this same place, the first cathedral of Cartagena was built by order of the Bishop Fray Tomás Del Toro, and it is said that in this place the remains of the Spanish conquistador Sebastián de Belalcázar are buried.
The San Sebastián Hospital and the San Carlos Borromeo Major Seminary also had presence in this building. Later, the architectural treasure of La Casa 1537 belonged to the family of the Italian Juan Bautista Mainero, an important merchant of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries who died in 1918.
This impressive and beautiful house has been the place of reception and lodging for former presidents, ministers, ambassadors, national and international celebrities and, at the same time, it has become a place that hosts important cultural events such as the International Music Festival.
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La Casa 1537, which masterfully preserves the history and design of the sixteenth century, equipped with all the comforts of the modern era, currently functions as an exclusive venue for events in La Heroica. It has 11 colonial-style spaces and two attractive patios. In its facilities, the First International Contemporary Art Biennial was held in 2014, where it received the visit of more than 120 thousand spectators. For the next Cartagena International Film Festival, which will take place between March 6 and 11, 2019, it has also been chosen as one of its venues for its charm and cultural atmosphere for meetings and screenings.