Cape Verde’s First World Heritage Site

  • 15 years ago
  • Uncategorized
Cidade Velha has become Cape Verde’s first UNESCO World Heritage site. The town of Ribeira Grande, renamed Cidade Velha in the late 18th century, was the first European colonial outpost in the tropics. Located in the south of the island of Santiago, the town features some of the original street layout and impressive remains including two churches, a royal fortress and Pillory Square with its ornate 16th century marble pillar.
 
After the island of Santiago was discovered, Portuguese settlers founded the city in 1462 and originally named it Ribiera Grande. It later changed its name to avoid confusion with another city of the same name on Santo Antao Island. The port was a famous stopping point for slave traders. It also saw two famous navigators make a call, Vasco de Gamma in 1497 and Christopher Columbus in 1498 on his third voyage to the Americas.
 
The fort was constructed in 1590 to defend the colony from attacks by pirates and other countries and overlooks the town and harbor. Visitors and travelers who are interested in Cidade Velha and the island of Santiago can now visit the city and see some wonderful property for sale, without having to worry about the old fortress’ guns. Near to the town is Vila Jardin de Oceano, an exclusive oceanfront development of 40 villas with 2 or 3 bedrooms. Enjoy this beautiful island and the UNESCO Heritage Site with a home here.
 
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