Santa Ana de Coro
Coro is the capital of Falcón State and the oldest city in the west of Venezuela.


The city was founded on July 26, 1527 by Spanish colonists. The name "Coro" is believed to be an indigenous word meaning "wind".
The city had a turbulent history in colonial times and suffered a number of attacks. Within a few years of the city's foundation it was a base for a German attempt to colonise South America. Charles V
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V was ruler of the Holy Roman Empire from 1519 and, as Charles I, of the Spanish Empire from 1516 until his voluntary retirement and abdication in favor of his younger brother Ferdinand I and his son Philip II in 1556.As...

 had ceded control of the area to German banking interests, but it reverted to Spain in the 1550s.

In 1806 Coro was briefly taken by Francisco de Miranda
Francisco de Miranda
Sebastián Francisco de Miranda Ravelo y Rodríguez de Espinoza , commonly known as Francisco de Miranda , was a Venezuelan revolutionary...

, who was fighting for the independence of Latin America from the Spanish, and Coro's port of La Vela was the first place in Venezuela where the country's tricolour flag
Flag of Venezuela
The current flag of Venezuela was introduced in 2006.The basic design includes a horizontal tricolor of yellow, blue, and red, dating to the original flag introduced in 1811, in the Venezuelan War of Independence....

 was raised.

Conservation and World Heritage Site

From historic, colonial architecture to unique natural scenery, Coro presents a diverse set of tourist attractions.
Since the 1950s Coro has been conserved as a national monument, and in 1993 Coro and its port were designated by UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

 as a World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

. The World Heritage Site conserves an urban landscape of typically 18th and 19th century appearance with cobbled streets and hundreds of historic and traditional buildings.
On its northeast border, the city blends into “Los Medanos de Coro”, extensive sand dunes that form the only desert in Venezuela. The dunes are alongside the road between the colonial zones of Coro and its port La Vela which are about five miles apart.


Some of Coro's buildings reflect the Spanish "Mudéjar
Mudéjar is the name given to individual Moors or Muslims of Al-Andalus who remained in Iberia after the Christian Reconquista but were not converted to Christianity...

" (i.e. Islamic) style, others reflect the cultural influence of Holland
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 via its colony of Curaçao
Curaçao is an island in the southern Caribbean Sea, off the Venezuelan coast. The Country of Curaçao , which includes the main island plus the small, uninhabited island of Klein Curaçao , is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands...

. There are churches, a small synagogue
Coro Synagogue
The "Casa de Oración Hebrea", mostly known as the Coro Synagogue, is a synagogue in the city of Santa Ana de Coro, Falcón, Venezuela, a city located near the Caribbean Sea coast and the Dutch island of Curaçao; it is known as one of the oldest synagogues in Latin America.-History:The synagogue was...

 and an old Jewish cemetery
Jewish Cemetery of Coro
The Jewish Cemetery of Coro is the oldest jewish cemetery in continuous use in the Americas .-History:Its origin can be located in the 19th century, when sephardic Jews from the Dutch colony of Curaçao began to migrate to the Venezuelan city of Santa Ana de Coro in 1824. The cemetery started to...

. Other colonial towns in Venezuela tend not to have conserved their heritage so well, and in any case the cross-cultural influences of Coro are probably unique.

Conservation issues

Coro's traditional buildings are built of earth - adobe
Adobe is a natural building material made from sand, clay, water, and some kind of fibrous or organic material , which the builders shape into bricks using frames and dry in the sun. Adobe buildings are similar to cob and mudbrick buildings. Adobe structures are extremely durable, and account for...

, or earth reinforced in a technique known as "bahareque". Such earthen structures are vulnerable. In particular, water is a potential threat to earthen buildings. Coro is normally protected from water damage by its arid climate.

Coro has yet to recover fully from deterioration caused by two consecutive years of heavy rains in 2004 and 2005. This prompted UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

 to place Coro and its Port on its List of World Heritage in Danger in 2005, on which it still remains today.
This rain damage is one factor in the current "at risk" status of Coro's World Heritage Site. Other factors relate to planning considerations which may be detrimental to the historic built environment.
The organization recommends that a new drainage system be constructed to prevent further water damage in the future and that measures be drafted to minimize the effects of an increasing number of tourists to the World Heritage Site.

Surrounding area

Traveling one hour north, the tourist will find world-famous beaches for windsurfing in the Paraguaná Peninsula
Paraguaná Peninsula
The Paraguaná Peninsula is a peninsula in Venezuela, situated in the north of Falcón State. The island of Aruba lies 27 km to the north. Bonaire and Curaçao are slightly further away. The Paraguaná Peninsula is connected to the rest of the state by a natural isthmus of Médanos. The Peninsula...

. One hour south, “La Sierra de Coro” presents small towns with a more temperate climate and views of the city. On clear days, visitors will be able to see the médanos (dunes) and behind them the Paraguana Peninsula with its Cerro Santa Ana. Driving west, tourists can also visit Urumaco
Urumaco is a town in the state of Falcón in Venezuela. It is of world importance for its fossils. The arid climate of the region means that the fossils are not hidden by vegetation. They were first made known to science by geologists who came across them while looking for oil...

, an important fossil site.


The economy in Coro is highly dependent on state government expenditure. Retail commercial activity, civil construction and professional services are the principal activities of the city economy.

External links

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