Historic Centre of Santa Ana de los Ríos de Cuenca (1999)

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Ecuador 1955. Rio Babahoyo, Los Rios.

Santa Ana de los Ríos de Cuenca is set in a valley surrounded by the Andean mountains in the south of Ecuador. This inland colonial town (entroterra), now the country's third city, was founded in 1557 on the rigorous planning guidelines issued 30 years earlier by the Spanish king Charles V. Cuenca still observes the formal orthogonal town plan that it has respected for 400 years. One of the region's agricultural and administrative centres, it has been a melting pot for local and immigrant populations. Cuenca's architecture, much of which dates from the 18th century, was 'modernized' in the economic prosperity of the 19th century as the city became a major exporter of quinine, straw hats and other products. 
  • Ecuador 1955. Rio Babahoyo, Los Rios. 

In its justification for inscription the UNESCO states that Cuenca illustrates the successful implantation of the principles of Renaissance urban planning in the Americas. The successful fusion of different societies and cultures in Latin America is vividly symbolized by the layout and townscape of Cuenca. Finally Cuenca is an outstanding example of a planned inland Spanish colonial city.

Ecuador 2003. Souvenir sheet. Crafts of Cuenca.

Sources and links:

Other World Heritage Sites in the Ecuador (on this site). Please refer to the UNESCO-listing, Ecuador section, for further information on the individual properties. 

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Revised 03 aug 2006  
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