history class

18. November 2010, Thursday
Position unbekannt

Is there anything more beautiful and exciting than visiting museums and historical buildings all over the world?

Yeah, ok..... sure you're right, there are quite a few things that are even more exciting than history and art.

You know that, after 3 hours of sightseeing and intensive history lessons at the latest, nothing fits in the beet anymore.

We've been to the Fortress of San Felipe in Cartagena and learned that it's the largest of its kind in the entire Caribbean. Great!
It offered protection from pirates and the English, which was one and the same for the Spaniards at the time, but the English saw it the other way around ;o), and the fortress was considered impregnable.

As I said, after more than 3 hours we only went in on the left and out on the right.

However, one man and his story have fascinated us for a long time:
Don Blas de Lezo - the hero of Cartagena

Born in Spain in 1689 to noble parents, he entered the service of King Philip at a young age, as was customary at the time.
At this point he was still complete, the Don Blas.
That changed when he lost a leg in the Battle of Gibraltar at the age of 16.
Barely recovered, he lost his right eye at the Battle of Tolon.
What a picture of a sailor!
The only thing missing is that he's missing an arm.
But that also happened to our hero. In the Battle of Barcelona he lost his right forearm ;o(
Nevertheless, he still had some "parts" to offer his king and remained in the service of his majesty.

In 1741 Don Blas put up fierce resistance at Fort San Felipe with only 500 soldiers and 2000 slaves against an overwhelming English armada consisting of 186 ships, over 2000 cannon and almost 24,000 men.
With this superiority, it stands to reason that he lost the battle - and you guessed it - his last leg as well.
Stupid for Don Blas de Lezo - but also for the British.
Their joy of victory didn't last long, because malaria, yellow fever and other tropical diseases caught up with the English so quickly that they fled Cartagene again in no time.

You're probably wondering what happened to Don Blas de Lezo too - well, he died (quite incompletely by now) shortly after the conquest.
At some point it hits even the hardest chunk ;o(