The Spanish tickler, the guillotine, the rack and the witches' scale are just four of the friendly artefacts on display on this glorious palace built for the Spanish Inquisition.
Address: Centro, Calle 34 3-11, Plaza de Bolivar, Cartagena, Colombia
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Constructed in the 18th century, the Palace of the Inquisition is one of the most impressive examples of Spanish colonial architecture in the city and its grandiose baroque entrance, sumptuous interior patio and expansive gardens are testimony to the seriousness with which Colombia's 18th century rulers took to the task of freeing heretics from the demons that threatened their passage to heaven.
The Holy Office, as the Spanish Church euphemistically termed its torture division, was first established in Cartagena in 1610 and continued its gruesome trade until independence in 1811.
Today one of Cartagena's most imposing buildings displays its disturbing and dark history in a gruesome torture dungeon on the ground floor.
One of the largest exterior patios in the city, originally used to imprison those waiting to be interrogated for accusations of heresy and later used for the execution of those found to be wanting religiously, is today used for some of the city's most important receptions.
On the second floor, the Historical Museum of Cartagena, opened in 1935, provides a potted history of the last five centuries of life in Cartagena de Indias including information on the original indigenous inhabitants of the region, the colonial period and the city's historic role in the struggle for independence.
Try and get yourself onto one of the tours with Alberto Perez, a highly entertaining guide despite his being slightly too enthusiastic about how the Spanish extracted confessions from witches during the building's darkest days.
Cartagena's nerve centre serves up breathtaking colonial architecture, the city's top attractions, finest hotels, eateries and drinking dens as well as being the administrative and cultural heart of the city.
Centro has lost none of its importance thanks to the universal lure of its colonial pomp and the concentration of government buildings, hotels, tourist attractions, bars and restaurants in the area.
Cartagena's finest hotels and restaurants have taken over the uber-casas built by slave traders and Spanish plunderers in the 17th century.
The richest residents knocked up stunning two and three-storey mansions by the westernmost tip of the walled city, where they bagged the sea breeze and first whiff of pirates. Today only those at the very top of Colombia's rich list can afford to maintain these opulent houses in their original residential state.
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