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Work on Cartagena’s cathedral began in 1575, but in 1586, while still under construction, it was partly destroyed by the cannons of Francis Drake. The structure known officially as the Basilica Santa Catalina de Alejandría wasn't completed until 1612, although the distinctive terracotta dome visible all over town was added later. Further alterations were carried out in the early 20th century by Cartagena's first archbishop, who covered the church with stucco and painted it to look like marble.
Notable inside are the huge stations of the cross skillfully carved in stone on either side of the nave, and four saintly statues (of San Pedro, Pablo, Gregorio and Sebastián) that used to decorate the facade but were restored and placed inside near the main door in 2000.