FUERTE SAN SEBASTIAN de PASTELILLO
Free admission everyday 08:00 - 20:00
The fort was designed and built between 1742 and 1744 by military engineer Juan Bautista Mac-Evan, Inspector of the Cartagena Fortifications. Its irregular layout was shaped to the geographical environment of the tip of the island of Manga, where it is located. It replaced, at this same site, El Boquerón, a medieval-looking tower that was the first fortification built in the Bay in 1566 to defend the entrance to the Bahía de las Ánimas. Of that fort, El Pastelillo retains a part of the western parapet and the associated guerrites.
San Sebastián del Pastelillo belongs to the Neoclassical period of military architecture with low and robust parapets, given the advances of artillery. Its name Pastelillo originates from the fact that it is a “Pastel” work, dominated by the fire of the Gethsemane bastions; the place name San Sebastián comes from the Spanish city in whose fortifications Mac-Evan had previously worked. It is a clear example of the fortifications of the Spanish American School.
After Independence, in the 19th century and in the early twentieth century, the fort of Sebastián del Pastelillo, like the other fortifications of Cartagena was abandoned and began a process of progressive deterioration. In the early years of the 20th century, it was even used as a corral and cattle jetty, but this endeavor was eventually terminated by the Public Improvement Society of Cartagena. And so for many more years the fort would remain abandoned and in the process of decay until the mid-twentieth century with the establishment and intervention of Club de Pesca.
Club de Pesca Marina established its docks adjacent to the Pastelillo Fortress in 1943, having been granted the custodianship, conservation, and care of this National Property. The Club continues to maintain the Fortress as a public historic site attracting Colombian and foreign tourists throughout the year.
The Fort of San Sebastián del Pastelillo underwent a comprehensive restoration between 2008 and 2020 financed by Cartagena’s Club de Pesca. The details of this historic architectural project are documented in the attached booklet. The nearly 12-year restoration project extended from underwater repairs to the base of the fort's walls to numerous structural remedies and restorations throughout every inch of this historic landmark.
Restoration Architects: Alberto Samudio and Rosa Elena Martínez
The fort is open daily 08:00 - 20:00- free admission