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About Heritage Protection

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) describes heritage as “our legacy from the past, what we live with today, and what we pass on to future generations”. The island of Curaçao has an extensive legacy to pass on; its built heritage in the inner city proved after all to be of ‘outstanding universal value’.

In the early nineties the Government adopted a policy to preserve these structures for the future by listing them as protected monuments by law.

In 1992 the Government nominated the first buildings to be placed on the list. However, property owners or other stakeholders can also apply for the protection of a property.
Nowadays about 865 monuments are listed on Curaçao, both buildings and archeological sites.

Property Nomination

A property can be nominated for the protection by law if it is:

  • at least fifty years old, and
  • considered of importance because of its beauty, art value, significance for science, the nation’s history or its value for the traditions and customs of the people.

An official copy of the inscription of a property in the ‘Register of protected cultural-historical heritage’ can be obtained at the Ministry of Traffic, Transport and Urban Planning, Department of Urban Planning (ROP), Plasa Horacio Hoyer 19, Curaçao.

Of every listed building or archeological site, the official description in Dutch stating the reasons of its protection, can be found on this website.

Willemstad Protected Cityscape

The inner city of Willemstad is because of its many monuments very valuable and unique in the region. To preserve these special values, the inner city has been assigned the status of a protected cityscape in 1995 by the Zoning Plan of Curaçao (EOP). This implies that not only buildings are protected but also the urban structure and appearance of the city.

All information regarding protected built heritage and accompanying regulations can be obtained at the Curaçao Monuments Fund Foundation.

All information regarding protected archeological sites can be obtained at the National Archeological Anthropological Memory Management.

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