Willemstad – Capitol of Curacao

Willemstad is the capital city of Curaçao, an island in the southern Caribbean Sea that forms a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

It was the former capital of the Netherlands Antilles prior to its dissolution in 2010, it has an estimated population of 140,000.

The harbor and historic intercity of Willemstad are no on the Unesco World Heritage Center List

The people of the Netherlands established a trading settlement at a fine natural harbor on the Caribbean island of Curaçao in 1634. The town developed continuously over the following centuries. The modern town consists of several distinct historic districts whose architecture reflects not only European urban-planning concepts but also styles from the Netherlands and from the Spanish and Portuguese colonial towns with which Willemstad engaged in trade.

 

Willemstad Harbor Curacao

The historic center of the city consists of two quarters: Punda and Otrobanda.

They are separated by the Sint Anna Bay, an inlet that leads into the large natural harbor called the Schottegat.

The two sites are connected via a pontoon bridge called Queen Emma Bridge after the Dutch Queen Emma

Queen Emma Bridge Willemstad

Punda was established in 1634, when the Dutch captured the island from Spain.

The original name of Punda was de punt in Dutch.

Otrobanda, which was founded in 1707, is the newer section of the city and is considered to be the cultural center of Willemstad.

Its name originated from the Papiamentu otro banda, which means “the other side.”

Punda Otra Banda Willemstad

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willemstad and Unesco WHC List

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