Cidade Velha has been inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage List, marking Cape Verde's entry to the international community's inventory of properties of outstanding universal value.
The World Heritage Committee, chaired by María Jesús San Segundo, Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Spain to UNESCO, inscribed the historic centre, which dates back to the late 15th century and bears testimony to the history of Europe's colonial presence in Africa and to the history of slavery.
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 impressive remains including two churches, a royal fortress and Pillory Square with its ornate 16th century marble pillar.
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