Coro in Venezuela

Wednesday, 14 February 2018 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, UNESCO World Heritage
Reading Time:  7 minutes

Iglesia de San Francisco © flickr.com - Grégory David Escobar Fernández/cc-by-2.0

Iglesia de San Francisco © flickr.com – Grégory David Escobar Fernández/cc-by-2.0

Coro is the capital of Falcón State and the oldest city in the west of Venezuela. It was founded on July 26, 1527 by Juan de Ampíes as Santa Ana de Coro. It is established at the south of the Paraguaná Peninsula in a coastal plain, flanked by the Médanos de Coro National Park to the north and the sierra de Coro to the south, at a few kilometers from its port (La Vela de Coro) in the Caribbean Sea at a point equidistant between the Ensenada de La Vela and Golfete de Coro. Thanks to the city’s history, culture and its well-preserved Colonial architecture, “Coro and its port La Vela” was designated in 1993 as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, thus becoming the first site in Venezuela to be vested with this title. Since 2005 it is on the UNESCO’s List of World Heritage in Danger.

It has a wide cultural tradition that comes from being the urban settlement founded by the Spanish conquerors who colonized the interior of the continent. It was the first capital of the Venezuela Province and head of the first bishop founded in South America in 1531. As Neu-Augsburg, it was the first German colony in the Americas under the Welsers. The precursor movement of the independence and of vindication of the dominated classes in Venezuela originated in this region; it is also considered to be the cradle of the Venezuelan federalist movement in the Republican era.

© flickr.com - Grégory David Escobar Fernández/cc-by-2.0 © Luisontiveros/cc-by-sa-3.0 © Luisontiveros/cc-by-sa-3.0 House of the 100 Windows © Juan Carlo Castillo Ortega/cc-by-sa-3.0 Museo de Arte © Carlos Santos Colorado/cc-by-sa-3.0 Iglesia de San Francisco © flickr.com - Grégory David Escobar Fernández/cc-by-2.0
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Iglesia de San Francisco © flickr.com - Grégory David Escobar Fernández/cc-by-2.0
The city has inherited a monumental architecture of the colonial and republican times features typical of the Andalusian architecture (southern Spain), with materials and techniques used by Native Americans based in the mud, like adobe and wattle, which gives it a unique personality. Equally characteristic has a certain pattern that combines traditional Spanish checkerboard layout with an irregular shape typical of medieval German cities, product of the period in which the city was the seat of the domain of Welser. In the central town is common will find yourself with streets that end abruptly, breaking the regularity of the Spanish checkerboard. Ambrosius Alfinger (German of the house of the Welsers and first Governor of the Province of Venezuela) restructures the layout of the streets based on the original layout of the founding of the city. With its earthen constructions unique in the Caribbean, Coro is the surviving example of the rich fusion of indigenous traditions with the Spanish Mudéjar architectural techniques and irregular shape of German Welser architecture. It is one of the first colonial cities, was founded in 1527, and its colonial architecture prevails until today. Over 600 buildings have been appointed in Coro as heritage. The historic centre remains characteristics typical of a city of 18th and 19th centuries, with cobbled stone streets and colonial buildings. This is an important colonial city resort and the largest complex of colonial temples in Venezuela. It contains a variety of museums with a broad representation of Catholic iconography or national historical value, so it is called “la ciudad museo”. For these reasons it is declared, along with its nearby port of La Vela de Coro, a World Heritage Site on December 9 of 1993 by Unesco in meeting held in the Colombian city of Cartagena de Indias. Since 2005 Coro has been officially listed as an “endangered” World Heritage Site (see List of World Heritage in Danger). Climate change in Venezuela, in particular heavy rains, have caused significant damage to its rich architecture. Coro’s traditional buildings were built with techniques based on the use of earth (adobe, and earth reinforced with a plant structure in a technique called “bahareque”). Many of these buildings are vulnerable to heavy rains, as in its natural state earth is a material of low resistance to moisture. As well as the damage from rains between November 2004 and February 2005, the built environment has, according to UNESCO, been adversely affected by the construction of inappropriate walls and fences. There has also been concern about the construction of a new monument, beach walkways and a gateway to the city in the port of La Vela de Coro: these could have a considerable impact on the value of the site.

From its historic colonial architecture to its diverse landscapes, Coro provides various forms of tourist attraction. In the extreme northeast of the city are the Médanos de Coro National Park, large dunes that are the only desert in Venezuela. They are located along the road that runs between the colonial area of the city to the port of La Vela de Coro. The colonial town, a World Heritage Site, preserves a typical urban landscape of the 18th and 19th centuries, with its cobbled streets and hundreds of historic and traditional buildings. Some architectures reflects a Mudéjar style, while others reflect the cultural influence of the Netherlands through the colony of Curaçao. In the city there are interesting Catholic and civilians buildings, that were the scene of numerous events of historic significance, since the early Republican period. Probably the architectural influences of Coro are unique.

Read more on LonelyPlanet.com – Coro, unesco.org – Coro and its Port, Wikitravel Coro, Wikivoyage Coro and Wikipedia Coro (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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