The city has many public and private libraries:
The Universidad de Cartagena José Fernández Madrid
Library: Started in 1821 when the university opened as the "University of Magdalena and Ithsmus". Serves mainly the students and faculty of this university but anyone can use its services.
Divided in buildings across the city being assigned to the Faculties it serves accordingly each area. The main building is in C. de la Universidad 64 and the second biggest section is located in Av. Jose Vicente Mogollón 2839.
The Bartolomé Calvo
Library: Founded in 1843 and established in its current place in 1900 is one of the main libraries of the Caribbean Coast and the biggest of the city. Its address is: C. de la Inquisición, 23.
The History Academy of Cartagena de Indias Library: Opened in 1903, many of its books date from more than a century before from donations of members and benefactors. Its entrance is more restricted due to secure handling procedure reasons as ancient books require, but it can be requested in the Academy office in Plaza de Bolivar 112.
The Technological University of Bolívar Library: Opened in 1985 Although small in general size, its sections on engineering and electronics are immense and its demand is mostly on this area, being located in Camino de Arroyohondo 1829.
The American Hispanic Culture Library: Opened in 1999, it already existed a smaller version without Spanish funding in the Casa de España since the early 1940s but in 1999 was enlarged to serve Latin America and the Caribbean in the old convent of Santo Domingo. It specializes in Hispanic Culture and History and is a continental epicenter of seminaries on history and restoration of buildings. The restoration of the convent and the enlargement of the library was and still is a personal project of Juan Carlos I of Spain
who visits it regularly. It is located in Plaza Santo Domingo 30, but its entrance is in C. Gastelbondo 52.
Jorge Artel Library: Opened in 1997, serves the area of the southwest districts of the city, it is mostly for children. It is located in Camino del Socorro 222
Balbino Carreazo Library: Located in Pasacaballos, a suburban neighborhood of the southeastern part of the city, serves mostly the suburbs of Pasacaballos, Ararca, Leticia del Dique and Matunilla. It is located in Plaza de Pasacaballos 321
District Libraries: Although small, this system goes grassroots to neighborhoods circulating books, generally each district library has around 5000 books.
Theatres and concert halls
The first carnivals and western theaters that served in New Granada operated on, what is today, Calle del Coliseo. This was an activity patronized by the Viceroy Manuel de Guirior and Antonio Caballero y Góngora, who, like their predecessors, spent most of the time of their mandates ruling in Cartagena.
Heredia Theatre: Opened in 1911, inspired by the Teatro Tacón
, was designed by Jose Enrique Jaspe. After years of abandonment, it was rebuilt in the 1990s and continues to be a cultural center. It is located in Plazuela de La Merced 5.
Universidad de Cartagena Aula Maxima: Founded in the early 19th century. It began to be used for debates in the late 1920s. It still has that function today.
The city has registered more than 100 companies of theater and traditional or contemporary dancing and is regularly visited by ballet and opera companies. Many of these local theater and traditional companies have their own auditoriums, among them: Reculá del Ovejo House, Teatro Contemporaneo Cartagenero, Ekobios, and Colegio del Cuerpo.
Museums and galleries
City Museum Palace of the Inquisition, opened in the 1970s.
World Heritage site
The port, the fortresses and the group of monuments of Cartagena were selected in 1984 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as significant to the heritage of the world, having the most extensive fortifications in South America. They are significant, too, for being located in a bay that is part of the Caribbean Sea. A system of zones divides the city into three neighborhoods: San Sebastian and Santa Catalina with the cathedral and many palaces where the wealthy lived and the main government buildings functioned; San Diego or Santo Toribio, where merchants and the middle class lived; and Getsemani, the suburban popular quarters.