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The small caribbean island of Aruba is investing heavily in a radical facelift of its capital city, Oranjestad, with the goal to make even more comfortable for tourists and increase the offer he international visitors.
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, with extensive works being done to restore the island’s historical centre to its former glory while, at the same time, renew its urban look and feel.
Projects include a National Historic Centre that will house a collection of artefacts and data about Aruba’s history. Requiring more than £6 million 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 a pedestrian-only area, offering visitors and locals a safer and more attractive zone to enjoy shopping and spare time.
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.