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Coro and its Port

Coro and its Port
Coro and its Port contains some of the most important buildings of earthen construction in the Caribbean, dating from the earliest years of Spanish colonization in this region.

The city Santa Ana de Coro was founded in 1527 by the Spaniards. It has conserved its original layout and early urban landscape very well. It presents a unique fusion of Mudejar architecture, native traditions, Spanish technical expertise and Dutch architectural influences.


Jorge Sanchez (Spain):
I flew from Caracas to Curaçao, then to Aruba, and since I needed another ticket out of the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao) returning to Venezuela, I chose to fly back to Coro, instead of Caracas, since my next destination would be Colombia and from Coro is much closer than from Caracas.
In those times (year 1997) the airport was far from the town (I read recently that today there is a new airport at a walking distance of Coro).
There was not bus service in the airport. I hitchhiked, but nobody picked me up. People were afraid to give rides in that area so close to Colombia. Besides, it was starting to become dark. Finally, together with a couple of Venezuelan, we hired a taxi to Coro, sharing the expenses.
We arrived in the evening to Coro, or more properly Santa Ana de Coro.
I resolved to spend the night there and to visit the village in the morning.
Santa Ana de Coro was founded in 1527 by the Spaniards and was the first Venezuelan capital, before being transferred to Caracas.
Coro is also the first UNESCO site declared in Venezuela (in the year 1993).
The next day, until the afternoon, I could admire the main tourists’ attractions of Coro, such as the Catholic Cathedral (destroyed in the middle of the XVI century by the bloody English pirate Drake, but later reconstructed), monasteries and old houses erected according to the Spanish style Mudéjar, all registered as Patrimony of the Humankind, the Balcón de Bolívar, Casa del Tesoro, several churches, etc.
Coro reminded me Andalucia.
After visiting Coro properly, I felt satisfied and then I headed by buses to Guajira Peninsula, in Colombia.
Date posted: August 2013
Joseph Colletti (USA):
I visited Coro in August 2009. I think the historical significance of the site is probably the main reason for its inclusion on the list, rather than any significant colonial architecture. As the part of the city that shows off the colonial past is quite small, no more than nine or ten square blocks, even with visits to the museums most visitors will probably need no more than a few hours, half a day at most, to get a sense of the city and stroll the most interesting streets and plazas and get something to eat.

Unfortunately there are not too many other places in Venezuela that retain their colonial sections at all, and certainly not with such a architectural integrity and cleanliness. Those places that do often have changes to the facades,adapted residences for other uses such as restaurants and shops, spider webs of electric lines, abandoned buildings, cracked and pot hole filled streets and piles of garbage. The cleanliness alone of Coro is enough to recommend it. (I could not help comparing it to the much larger and more dramatic setting overlooking the Orinoco of the colonial section of Ciudad Bolivar, which, unfortunately has suffered from the ravages of time, poor planning and, in many places, its use as an open garbage dump and latrine.)

I noticed the site is on the endangered list and obviously much has been done and is being done to restore and repair the colonial section and the plazas. Many of the buildings looked newly painted. Several of the churches and museums were closed for renovations and strolling should be left to the early morning or evening as the heat of the day can be quite oppressive. Coro is easily reachable by bus from nearby cities. The surroundings of Coro, including the sand dunes (be careful, I heard several reports of robberies in that area) and the Paraguana peninsula are worth a visit if in the area.
Date posted: September 2009

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Site info

Coro and its Port
Country: Venezuela
Inscribed: 1993
  • In Danger
    Cultural Heritage
    Criteria:  (4) (5)
    Category: Urban landscape, Colonial

    Site history:
    2005In Danger
    Deep concern over gradual and considerable deterioration in the state of conservation
    1993 Inscribed
    Reasons for inscription
    1993Name change
    Changed at inscription from "Coro and its dunes"
    1993Advisory Body overruled
    Referral was advised
    Nomination also included Coro Dunes National Park, which was not inscribed

    Site links

    Official website:

    In the news:
    » Jewish mikvah found in Coro (16-12-2013).

    Related links:
    » Endangered site - Smithsonian.
    » The Expelled Jews of Coro - 1827.

    Related Forum posts:
    Not available

    Getting there

    This WHS has 2 location(s).


    Mud / Earth Architecture . Mudejar style .
    Baths . Triumphal Arches .
    Cacao .
    Caribbean Sea .
    Slavery .
    Human Activity
    Piracy . Sea Ports .
    Religion and Belief
    Cathedrals . Jewish religion and culture .
    Built in the 16th century .
    Built or owned by Spanish . First inscriptions .
    WHS on Other Lists
    World Monuments Watch (past) .
    World Heritage Process
    Cultural sites rejected for Natural criteria . Name changes .

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