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.
Map of Coro and its Port
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.
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