I’m definitely guilty of dropping the “it’s a UNESCO World Heritage site!” in my “oohs” and “ahs” about a place without knowing exactly what it means. FYI: to qualify as a UNESCO World Heritage site a place must be “of outstanding universal value and meet at least one out of ten selection criteria.”
The criteria is as below
- to represent a masterpiece of human creative genius;
- to exhibit an important interchange of human values, over a span of time or within a cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design;
- to bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared;
- to be an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in human history;
- to be an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement, land-use, or sea-use which is representative of a culture (or cultures), or human interaction with the environment especially when it has become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible change;
- to be directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance. (The Committee considers that this criterion should preferably be used in conjunction with other criteria);
- to contain superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance;
- to be outstanding examples representing major stages of earth’s history, including the record of life, significant on-going geological processes in the development of landforms, or significant geomorphic or physiographic features;
- to be outstanding examples representing significant on-going ecological and biological processes in the evolution and development of terrestrial, fresh water, coastal and marine ecosystems and communities of plants and animals;
- to contain the most important and significant natural habitats for in-situ conservation of biological diversity, including those containing threatened species of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science or conservation.
I have a feeling that Willemstad, Curaçao’s capital, and once the capital of the Netherland Antilles made the list due to criteria number 2, it’s colorful harbour and city center is like no other in the world. Pretty Dutch style buildings in bright typical Caribbean colors, this color saturated capital is an Instagrammer’s dream. So I put on my cutest “end of summer beachside vacation” look and explored. Here’s my perfect day in Willemstad, Curaçao. Surprises include eating iguana soup and one of the most riveting Caribbean slave history museums I’ve seen, the Kura Hulanda museum at the Sonesta Kura Hulanda Village and Spa, for more on the Curaçao slave museum and Sonesta Kura Hulanda Village check out this separate post. Another must-visit modern site with strong history and identity of the island is the Floating Market. Wandering through this market on the dock (the floating boats) of the Punda side of Curacao, you’re hit with the smells of fresh produce and fish and sounds of Spanish, English, Dutch and Papamiento from the vendors beckoning you into their stalls. A generations-old tradition, the boats that are docked bring fresh produce and fish from Venezuela, 40 miles south, daily! Curacao is surprisingly arid for a Caribbean island making this a very welcome relationship. See the Floating Market below and other photos of this beautiful city.
I swear I didn’t plan it, but I definitely color coordinated with the town :). top, Urban Outfitters (It’s on sale so snatch it up!) // skirt, snagged at a beachside boutiques ages ago during my travels, shop similar // shoes, Delman, shop similar.