1.         Historic Quarter of the City of Colonia del Sacramento (Uruguay) (C 747)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1995

Criteria  (iv)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger  N/A

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/747/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1994-2009)
Total amount approved: USD 35,000
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/747/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

Total amount provided to the property: Technical mission financed by the Spanish Funds-in-Trust allocated to World Heritage.

Previous monitoring missions

April 2002 and May 2004: ICOMOS reactive monitoring missions; June 2008: ICOMOS technical mission

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Inappropriate architectural and urban design for a marina and hotel-casino in a building block at the old harbour;

b) Need to strengthen management planning for the historic quarter.

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/747/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2009

An ICOMOS technical mission took place in June 2008 to evaluate the situation and potential impact of the “Marinas de Sacramento” project on the Outstanding Universal Value, authenticity and integrity of the property.


The World Heritage Centre received the State Party’s report on 17 January 2009, which responds to decision 32 COM 7B.128 taken by the World Heritage Committee at its 32st session (Québec City, 2008).


a) Need to improve management planning, Completion of the management plan and establishment of a management authority for the coordination of the activities of the many national and local actors, organisations and stakeholders involved

The State Party reports that the “Consejo Ejecutivo Honorario de Colonia del Sacramento” (Honorary Executive Council for Colonia del Sacramento), a unit of the National Commission of Cultural Heritage, will be responsible for the management of the site,. It will be integrated by a multidisciplinary group with intersectorial participation, including representatives of the Municipality and civil society. The Council has operating offices and will also serve as a central repository for information, with a planned Geographic Information System (GIS) to manage the data. Operational funding will be provided by the Ministry of Education and Culture to ensure its functionality in response to the new management arrangements. Technical personnel will be contracted to provide specialized and stable expertise to enhance management endeavours.


An official letter to start the process for an International assistance request has been received by the World Heritage Centre on 26 December 2008, currently the official request is on drafting process by the State Party. The request is for the completion of the management plan, and preliminary contacts have been established with the Municipality to ensure their participation in the planning process.


b) Suspension of the development of the project “Marinas de Sacramento” until alternatives without negative impacts on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property have been identified, and submission of the alternative proposals

The State Party reports that the Municipality of Colonia has accepted the decision of the World Heritage Committee to suspend the project in October 2008 and that a new location will be evaluated. The Municipality has also indicated its commitment to inform on new projects to be developed in the protected area for timely evaluation by pertinent authorities and the World Heritage Committee.


c) Extension of the property to include the “Bay and Islands of the City of Colonia del Sacramento”

The Ministry of Education and Culture intends to request Preparatory Assistance to develop a proposal for the extension of the property.


The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies note that the Colonia de Sacramento has experienced significant changes since its inscription on the World Heritage List: on one hand visitation and tourism have increased and in the other the local population at the historic centre has decreased, a situation underscored by the State Party during the Periodic Reporting exercise for Latin America and Caribbean (2002-2004).


Although the fabric of the historic buildings is in a fairly good state of conservation, there are issues that remain unresolved and that could potentially threaten the Outstanding Universal Value, authenticity and integrity of the property. Among these, pressure and decay derived from uncontrolled visitation and from surpassing carrying capacity limits, changes in function and in use of the historic buildings upon abandonment by traditional inhabitants and rise of real estate values, can be highlighted. In addition, management effectiveness and technical conservation efficiency needs to be improved, interventions continue to be carried out in a disarticulated manner and there are no precise guidelines for treatment of facades, colors and other interventions and no mechanisms in place to regulate inappropriate interventions. All of these issues need to be urgently addressed in a comprehensive, participatory and value-driven management plan to derive adequate, efficient and sustainable proposals.


Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM


Decision Adopted: 33 COM 7B.146

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-09/33.COM/7B,

2. Recalling Decision 32 COM 7B.128, adopted at its 32nd session (Quebec City, 2008), and the recommendations of the previous monitoring missions of 2002, 2004 and 2008,

3. Takes note of the decision taken by the State Party to halt construction of the planned "Marinas de Sacramento" project;

4. Notes with satisfaction progress made in establishing a management authority and encourages the State Party to technically and financially support its efficient operation as a coordinating and regulatory entity;

5. Requests the State Party, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, to submit to the World Heritage Committee any new proposed projects potentially affecting the inscribed area, for review by the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS;

6. Urges the State Party to fully develop and complete a comprehensive management plan for the property, including zoning and land use plans to be integrated into other planning tools;,

7. Invites the State Party to submit as soon as possible an International Assistance request to develop a proposal for the extension of the property;

8. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2011, a detailed report on the state of conservation of the property and on the progress made in the implementation of the above recommendations, for the examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 35th session in 2011.