Monuments of Curaçao

     

Map of Curaçao


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Island Of Monuments

A small island in the Caribbean Sea, Curaçao to date boasts more than 860 protected monuments and historical and archaeological sites.

More than 80 country estates dating from the 17th to the 19th century, quite often in a superb natural setting, dot the island. An average of one country estate in every six square kilometres of the island, this is a unique feature both for the Caribbean Region and beyond.

Together with the many colourful traditional rural houses dispersed over the island, these plantation complexes locally called landhuizen, put a distinctive mark on the cultural landscape of Curaçao.

Curaçao also boasts World Heritage, the Inner City and Harbour of Willemstad World Heritage City. The city’s Dutch colonial origin and heritage is reflected in the colourful historic buildings and in the town lay-out of the inner city’s four historic districts known as Punda (17th century), Otrobanda (18th century), Pietermaai and Scharloo (both 19th century). Each with an expression of its own, the distinct historic townscapes of Historic Willemstad’s districts turn the city itself into a colourful and lively reference book of its architectural and urban history both for the city stroller and the visitor.

Historic Willemstad accommodates 765 listed monuments, mostly historic mansions, shop houses and townhouses, but also an array of typical small popular dwellings.

Major monuments in Historic Willemstad are Fort Amsterdam, seat of the government of the Netherlands Antilles, Water Fort and Rif Fort facing the Caribbean Sea and the Synagogue Mikvé Israël Emanuel, oldest synagogue in use in the western hemisphere.

Curaçao’s fortifications include several types of strongholds ranging from Historic Willemstad’s city fortifications to individual forts on strategic locations on Curaçao’s southern shore.

Curaçao’s archaeological sites identified and protected to date, feature remnants of seven human settlements dating back to the Archaic age (from 2,500 B.C.) and the Ceramic age (from 500 A.D.) Apart from human graves and deposits containing pottery and tools made of shells, stone and bones, rock paintings form a rare and interesting legacy of Curaçao’s first inhabitants.

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