boasts some 70 country estates, locally called
landhuizen, spread over the island. With an area of
around 480 km2, this results in an average of one
country estate in every 7 km2. So far almost 50 country estates
have already been listed as monuments.
A Curaçao plantation complex invariably features a
country estate as its main building and supporting
buildings and infrastructure such as magasina’s,
storehouses for maize with a threshing floor, a coach
house, stables, corrals to keep cattle, water wells and
cisterns and at a small distance a number of slave huts
covered with sorghum grass as roofing material. Unlike
plantations in other areas of the Caribbean where
cultivation of cash crops is the most important
activity, the Curaçao plantations concentrated on the
production of food. A plantation generally featured
three areas: a hòfi, a small low lying fertile piece
of land with fruit trees and vegetables, walled lots of
flat land to grow sorghum, a small maize species, and a
large uncultivated area as a feeding ground for cattle.
On Curaçao also water plantations and salt plantations
were in operation for the selling of water and the
production of salt.
In the first ten years
after the introduction of the Monuments
Plan (1990) 180
restoration projects were completed, an average of 18
monuments per annum. These were commissioned by The Curaçao Monuments Foundation, The Curaçao Housing
Foundation, The Willemstad Urban Rehabilitation
Corporation and private owners of monuments.
During the past ten years,
architectural firms and contractors have gained ample
experience in restoration projects. To improve the
performance of the actors in the restoration process,
the quality of restorations and the reduction of the
costs of restorations currently are under scrutiny.
In the updated monuments plan ‘Plan di Monumento 2000+’
projects have been included such as review of the
restoration guidelines in order to improve the
authenticity of restored monuments and analysis of
the costs of restorations.
The maintenance of
restored monuments and monuments awaiting restoration
needs more due attention. Owners of monuments
are summoned to repair and to maintain their property
that are severely neglected.
For the systematic and preventive maintenance of
monuments a Monument Watch for regular inspections of
monuments and advice on their maintenance is in the