Monuments of Curaçao

     

Plantations of Curaçao

 

Curaçao 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.

 

 

Restoration Practice

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 preparation phase.

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