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Historic Centre of Santa Ana de los Ríos de Cuenca
Site number:
Type of site: Cultural
Date: 1557-19th c.
Date of Inscription: 1999
Location: South America, Ecuador, Province of Azuay
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Description: Santa Ana de los Ríos de Cuenca is located in a mountain valley among the Andes in southern Ecuador. Nowadays the country's third city, this inland colonial town (entroterra) was founded in 1557 on the Spanish king Charles V’s rigorous planning guidelines which were issued 30 years prior. The 400 year old formal orthogonal town plan is still observed within Cuenca. The site is one of the region's agricultural and administrative centres, and consequently it has acted as a melting pot for local and immigrant populations. Cuenca's mostly 18th century architecture was 'modernized' when the 19th century saw an economic prosperity due to becoming a major exporter of quinine, straw hats and other products. --WHMNet paraphrase from the description at WHC Site, where additional information is available.
  Cuenca is the third largest city in Ecuador, capital of the Azuay province. It is located in the Sierra, the highlands of Ecuador at about 2500m (8200 ft) above sea level. Its full name is Santa Ana de los cuatro ríos de Cuenca. The city's cobblestone streets, towering cathedrals, and marble and whitewashed buildings give it a colonial air. Cuencanos, known for their traditional demeanor and conservative cultural values, match their 18th century surroundings. The city's history is well preserved, earning Cuenca the honor of being listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Trust site. --Wikipedia. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.
Reference: 1. UNESCO World Heritage Center, Site Page.
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