Saba, de onbedorven koningin van de Antillen | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 5, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 2468-2187
  • E-ISSN: 2468-2195


Saba, the unspoiled Queen of the Antilles

The isolated Caribbean island of Saba is affectionately called ‘the unspoiled Queen’, due to the unaffected character of its natural environment. European colonists from Zeeland (The Netherlands) and the British Isles occupied the island four centuries ago and partially changed it into a cultural landscape with an outstanding character and a vernacular architecture that is worth to be well protected.

The inhabitants – still no more than 2000 – had to adjust to the rugged and mountainous landscape. This is expressed by the location of the villages, the network of paths and stairs connecting them, the construction and size of the wooden cottages and the cisterns and burial sites on their properties. This combination makes Saba unique in the Caribbean region. The Saban architecture which is rooted in a Victorian-British building tradition, has hardly changed over the years, though building in concrete is a serious threat nowadays.


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