Maracaibo From The Air

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Home Ondas del Lago Maracaibo From The Air

These are photographs of Maracaibo taken from the air. Taken in different eras, it's interesting to see the areas we were so familiar with, and where we spent so much time, from this perspective. Also interesting is the progression of changes between the different Creole Camp/Creole Club photos.


Oster Bayne contributed this fabulous aerial-view photograph of the Creole Camp, taken sometime during the mid 1930's. A historical treasure, it was originally thought to have been taken in 1940. But under high magnification, it was noted that the houses have porches, which did not exist after 1938 (see photo below showing House 16), and a few 1930's-vintage automobiles can be seen. Also, when this photo was taken, there was no pool nor checkerboard-tiled dance floor in front of the clubhouse.

Oster further writes:

". . . points to note which 'younger' folks will recognize are:

"1) 3 Bachelor Quarters to the left of the camp with space in front in which we held our movies until about 1950 when the projector house was moved top the tennis courts.

"2) Behind the Batchyquarters are the original workshops and Commissary as I recall.

"3) Top centre are the Company Offices with tank on stilts behind which were still there in the early 1950s.

"4) To the extreme right is the Camp or Company Managers two storied House. You can just see the shades over the windows and the opulent gardens that were still there in the 1950s. The house opposite the Manager's is house 22, first in the row, where we lived in 1951 to 53. Below that is House 21, then 20 where we lived from about 1947 to 1951. Opposite that is House 16 where we lived (also opposite the club) from about 1940 to 1947 about the time of the photo.

"5) In the centre is the club and tennis courts with the garages in front of the courts. Its hard to make out the pool but I know it's there as I have photos of me in it as early as 1942."


(Click on this photo for a high-resolution view measuring 1851 X 879 pixels (4769 Kb) for detailed viewing. If you have a good graphics program, simply right-click on the enlarged image for a sub-menu to download it so that you can further magnify it with even greater detail.)


Click on the thumbnail below for a 1008 X 484 marked-up version of the image above (164Kb), as originally sent to me by Oster Bayne. This image, modified by Doug Becker, shows location pointers to help identify prominent landmarks as well as a compass rose to orient the viewer.

You can also click here to download a 489kb higher-resolution zipped image for viewing with your graphics program.

Note in this image that names marked within parenthesis are 'future' sites; i.e., the name(s) mentioned had not yet been constructed at the time the photo was taken.

I invite further additions, corrections, or enhancements to this modified view. My thanks to Doug for his efforts.



This spectacular aerial view of the Creole Camp area, which was found and sent to me for inclusion here by Doug Becker, is another historical treasure. It comes to us courtesy of Phil Wolcott, a Creole geologist. Phil lived in eastern & western Venezuela from 1938 to 1956, and again from 1963 to 1969. In between those years, from 1957 to 1962, Phil lived in France. He and his wife Mercedes now live in Marco Island, Florida.

This photo is believed to have been taken sometime in the early 1950's. The autos that are visible on the streets are from this era, and a fence can be seen around the club. According to Doug, this fence went up sometime between September 1949 and December 1950.

By the time this photo was taken, the new Coromoto Hospital had been built. The living quarters for hospital staff can be seen to the left of the hospital. The club pool & tennis courts can be plainly seen, as well as the clubhouse, which by now had doubled in size from the previous photo, renovated with a mirror-image addition. Also, note the clear view of the movie screen by the tennis courts. The dance floor in front of the clubhouse is still a concrete slab as it had not yet been tiled and enlarged with the checkerboard-patterned tiles many of us later became so familiar with.

My thanks to Phil Wolcott for allowing us to post this photo here, and to Doug Becker for making it possible by discovering it and sending it on to me.


Click here to download a 2,916 X 2,334 pixel (9.27" X 7.78") high-resolution zipped image of this photograph for magnified viewing. As this file is 3.037 MB, a high-speed Internet connection is recommended.




This spectacular image of the El Saldillo area of Maracaibo was donated by Pedro López, of Documentación ActivaInstituto de InvestigacionesFacultad de Arquitectura y DiseñoUniversidad del Zulia, in Maracaibo. The Gral. Rafel Urdaneta bridge can easily be seen crossing the Lake in the background. Taken in 1962.

We're greatful to Pedro for allowing us to share it here.




These wonderful aerial views of the Creole area were originally contributed by Leonardo J. Carrillo S., of Maracaibo. All of them came from a book produced by the Lago Maracaibo Club entitled "Más de 70 Años de História: Ayer, Hoy, y Siempre Celebrando Tres Etapas de Evolución y Desarrollo" ("More Than 70 Years of History: Yesterday, Today, and Always Celebrating Three Stages of Evolution & Development"). This highly interesting & informative account of the history of the club can be seen by clicking on the "LMC - MORE THAN 70 YEARS..." tab on the Main Menu on the left.

I'm extremely grateful to Mr. Carrillo for providing these photographs which show all of the many, extensive changes that the Creole Camp area has undergone over the course of the last 35 years.


The exact year of this shot is unknown but it appears to have been taken prior to 1985 as the old clubhouse is still standing, as are both of the old Bachelor Quarters buildings. As the movie screen doesn't yet show any "wings" on it, I'm guessing that it was taken in the late 1950's or very early 1960's. It's somewhat similar to the way I remember the area except that I remember the screen with the "wings" on it. So I knew it a number of years after this shot was taken.

Mr. Carrillo advises that only one of the old Bachelor Quarters buildings remains today, and is presently the site of a European consulate (previously it was the location of the German School). The General Manager's compound is now being used by A.Z.U.P.A.N.E., a humanitarian association for special children. Where the old main Creole office buildings once stood there is now a small shopping center called the "Mini Centro Virginia".


The exact date of this following aerial view in not known either except that it was taken sometime during the latter part of the 1990's.

The most prominent feature is, of course, the large movie screen. The rebuilt clubhouse with the yellow roof is clearly visible to the left of the screen, extending well behind the roof. To the right of the pool, between the pool & the tennis courts, can be seen the new two-story gym/changing rooms that were built. Even the large mango tree between the dance floor and the pool is visible. Note also the large homes that were built behind the movie screen that replaced the old camp homes, and the homes that now stand immediately in front of the club entrance. Mid-background is the Coromoto Hospital. New apartment buildings can be seen further back in the distance and beyond that, the lake.


These are additional photos taken in 2000 from the same book previously mentioned above,"Más de 70 Años de História: Ayer, Hoy, y Siempre Celebrando Tres Etapas de Evolución y Desarrollo"that were sent to me by Marcos & Elizabeth Salom, Maracuchos now living in Madrid. Marcos was Chairman of the Board of the Lago Maracaibo Club from 1999 to 2001, and it was under his tenure that this book was published. We're all extremely grateful to them for the hard work they put into scanning and sending these photographs to us. This is not to mention all the hard work he put into improving, maintaining, and carrying on the history of the club that all of us remember so fondly.


This is another aerial view of the club taken from the north, looking south. One can see the housing buildup around the southern and western edges of the club. The western edge is the front of the club on the right, where only a large, palm-shaded lot once stood.
This is an "elevated" view rather than a true aerial view of the pool, but it was so good I thought I'd include it here. It offers a good look at the construction of the side wings of the movie screen, and also shows the red & white checkered dance floor, exactly as all of us remember it. If you look closely on the right (narrow) edge of the pool, you can see the jumping blocks that were put in for swimming competitions. This was where the diving boards once stood, and my guess is that the decision to install them was probably the main reason the diving boards were taken down. By this time, the pool had also received a new interior lining, including attractive cobalt-blue tile edging around the top edges of the pool, best visible in the photo below.
This is another elevated view and it shows how nicely the tennis courts have been maintained over the years. The courts had been modernized by changing their surface and their colors, and the building behind them was constructed, with a gym upstairs and bathroom facilities on the main floor. this isn't an aerial view, or even an "elevated" photo of the pool. But it is a great shot that offers an excellent view of the competition jumping blocks at the edge of the pool that I mentioned above.





This low oblique aerial shot of the Hotel del Lago, taken from immediately offshore over the lake, shows the rear of the hotel in excellent detail. It also gives a great view of southeastern city skyline. Taken in 1987, it comes from the front album cover of a promotional LP entitled "En Maracaibo Encuentras...Hotel del Lago" that was produced by Grupo Mathiz.




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