Aruba is a cultural treasure built with pieces of time
and enriched with little details.

History Timeline

This is a timeline of Aruba's history, comprising historical important events. Although Aruba's past has been relatively peaceful. Here are the major milestones:

Aruba's first settlers

1,000's The Arawak Indians, arrived from Venezuela. Remnants of their culture can still be found s around the island.

Spanish use of the island

1499 Spanish explorer Alonso de Ojeda discovers the island and claimed it for Spain. They made little use of the place finding it too arid and without evidence of gold so they abandoned Aruba and went for other conquests.

Colonized by the Dutch

1636 Looking for another place to establish a colonial presence the Dutch captured the island of Aruba. The construction of the historic fortress Fort Zoutman and William III Tower occur.

The Napoleonic Wars

1815 From a short period of time 1805-1815 the island fell to the British, and in the end came back to Dutch control.

Gold discovery

1823 The discovery of gold near the Bushiribana, where the mines continued until 1916 that became unprofitable and where shut down.

Black gold refinery

1929 Oil refinery is established at San Nicolas and Aruba became home to one of the world's largest refineries.

Autonomous Federation

1954 After the World War II Aruba had an increase in political end economic autonomy and became completely self-governing within the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Emphasis on tourism

1985 Tourism became especially important. Although the first cruise ship arrived in Aruba in 1957, the tourism industry began to develop in earnest at the end of the 20th century and is now the island's primary economy

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