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Aruba’s historical centre returning to its former glory

Aruba’s capital Oranjestad is in the process of urban renewal, with extensive work being done to restore the island’s historical centre to its former glory. Aruba was conquered by the Dutch in 1636 and this heritage can be seen everywhere on the island, particularly in Oranjestad, which is known for its pastel-coloured, gingerbread-house style architecture. A number of projects are currently proceeding to innovatively transform the look of various areas across town, including: More than £6 million will be invested to build a National Historic Centre that will house a collection of artefacts and data about Aruba’s history. The centre will complete the current cluster of historical Government buildings, which will surround a common plaza area. The busiest section of L.G. Smith Boulevard, Oranjestad’s main artery, will also get a revamp: it will become pedestrianised, creating a safer and more attractive zone for visitors and locals to enjoy. The tanks of the container wharf that are currently located in Barcadera, close to the harbour entrance, are soon to be removed so when cruise ships arrive in Aruba passenger can enjoy uninterrupted views of Oranjestad. The Court Building and the Water Tower are currently being restored, while work continues to revitalise the Main Street and enlarge Bestuurskantoor, the road behind the government’s offices. The restoration of the buildings that used to house the Archaeological Museum and the Harbourmaster’s offices, as well as the second phase of the Aruba Linear Park, the longest in the Caribbean once complete, are also well underway. Part of the BoAruba (Your Aruba) programme, the project aims at repairing and rebuilding historic buildings and monuments in the city centre within walking distance from the cruise port’s main gate.

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Daily Telegraph.

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