December 4th, 2017 marks the 20th anniversary of historic Willemstad’s listing on the UNESCO World Heritage List. This important recognition came in December 1997, as a result of the efforts of ‘Action Willemstad’ in the 1980’s. Historic Willemstad includes the four historic districts of Willemstad and the harbor (St. Anna Bay).
Historic Willemstad was placed on the World Heritage List for its great cultural historical value that is unique in the Caribbean and beyond. A large part of the original urban structure and the architecture is still present. The districts all have their own character and consist of Punda, Otrobanda, Pietermaai and Scharloo.
Originally, Willemstad was a European colonial city, which was influenced by the wide variety of other groups who settled there during three centuries and who contributed their local color. These have all left their mark on the architecture and the way of living.
In 2016, a Management Plan for conservation and restoration of historical Willemstad was established. The different stakeholders will use this as a guide to work together in the coming years for the preservation of historic Willemstad World Heritage City.