Fodor's Expert Review Palacio de la Inquisición
One of Cartagena's most visited tourist sites documents the darkest period in the city's history. A baroque limestone doorway off Plaza de Bolívar marks the entrance to the 1770 Palace of the Inquisition, the headquarters of the repressive arbiters of political and spiritual orthodoxy who once exercised jurisdiction over Colombia, Ecuador, and Venezuela. Although the museum displays benign colonial and pre-Columbian artifacts and also has a brief overview of the city's history with maps and models, most people congregate on the ground floor to "Eeewww!" over the implements of torture—racks and thumbscrews, to name but two—and the displays on how to judge a witch. We recommend you hire an English-speaking guide since many displays need explanations and all signs are in Spanish.