Experiencing history on Curacao is as simple as strolling through downtown Willemstad, and taking in the Dutch-style buildings that have been in place for hundreds of years.
There are over eight hundred restored historic homes, buildings, monuments, and more throughout the island waiting to be explored. Listed below are just a few of the most popular.
In case you enjoy expanding your knowledge of other places and cultures, you might enjoy visiting a museum during your vacation. Try clicking on the name of each museum to read detailed information.
A common landmark for vacationers is Curacao Maritime Museum. It is located in downtown Willemstad. The museum is open from 9am to 4pm Tuesday through Saturday.
Curacao Museum: The Curacao Museum is fittingly located in a colonial-style building in Western Otrobanda. Inside, visitors will find exhibits that touch on the geological history of the island, pre-Colombian artifacts, details about the time after the abolition of slavery, antiques, paintings, and a display of the traditional plantation kitchen.
Kura Hulanda Museum: This privately funded cultural museum has a vast quantity of African artifacts. Anthropology is the focus of this museum and the collections catalog the origins of man in great detail, with a lot of focus on the slave trade era.
The chart just below has some key facts concerning some museums to consider on Curacao.
|Country House Museum||(599-9) 864-2742||Willemstad|
|Curacao Maritime Museum||(599) 465-2327||Downtown Willemstad|
|Curacao Museum||599/9-462-3873||0.8 mi. Northwest of Downtown Willemstad|
|Fort Church Museum||599-9-461-1139||Downtown Willemstad|
|Jewish Cultural Historical Museum||(599-9) 461-1633||Downtown Willemstad|
|Kura Hulanda Museum||(599 9)- 434 7765||Downtown Willemstad|
|Landhuis Ascension||599-9-864-2892||3.8 mi. North of Central St. Willibrordus|
|Numismatic Museum||(599-9) 462-5912||Downtown Willemstad|
|Postal Museum||(599 9) 465 80 10||Downtown Willemstad|
|Savonet Museum||599-9-864-0363||3.5 mi. Northeast of Central Lagun|
|Tele Museum||(599-9) 465-2844||Downtown Willemstad|
|Tula Museum||(599-9) 864-0244||1.6 mi. North-Northeast of Central Lagun|
Like discovering the historical roots of countries you visit? If so, you should consider visiting a few of these historical attractions while vacationing on Curacao.
Landhuis Brievengat: Landhuis Brievengat is open from 9:15 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
If you are looking to do more sight-seeing, visit Mikve Israel-Emanuel Synagogue. It is found within Jewish Cultural Historical Museum and found in downtown Willemstad. The number of religious relics housed in the two 18th century buildings that make up the museum at Mikve Israel-Emanuel Synagogue is astounding. They include a Torah scroll brought to Curacao by the first Jewish settlers, 200-year-old silver trays from Holland used for the smashing of the wine glass during wedding ceremonies, two circumcision chairs that are several centuries old, hand-wrought silver K'tarim, a collection of historic marriage contracts, and more.
Landhuis Kenepa Plantation: Landhuis Kenepa Plantation, named for the fruit of the Kenepatree tree, was once the largest slave holding plantation on Curacao. In 1795, the slaves led a revolt that led to the abolition of slavery on the island.
Glance through the following chart to find out more about historical sites on Curacao.
|Fort Amsterdam||(599-9) 434-8200||Downtown Willemstad|
|--||5.8 mi. East-Southeast of Central Otrabanda|
|Fort Nassau||(599) 461-3450||0.7 mi. Northeast of Downtown Willemstad|
|Governor's Palace||--||Downtown Willemstad|
|Landhuis Brievengat||(599-9) 691-4961||The vicinity of Willemstad, Central Curacao|
|--||The vicinity of Willemstad, Central Curacao|
|Landhuis Kenepa Plantation||(599-9) 864-0244||1.6 mi. North-Northeast of Central Lagun|
|--||1.8 mi. East-Northeast of Central Willemstad|
|Mikve Israel-Emanuel Synagogue||(599-9) 461-1067||Downtown Willemstad|
|Willemstad Historical District||--||Downtown Willemstad|
Vacationers can explore some other intriguing places worth visiting on Curacao.
If you want to observe the distillery process, consider visiting Curacao Liqueur Distillery. Surprisingly to many, Curacao Liqueur Distilleries is a small factory with an open-air showroom. There are no guides, but visitors are encouraged to walk around and read the hand painted signs that detail the distillation process, watch the employees fill the bottles by hand, and even purchase a few bottles from the gift shop.
The following table lists some key facts regarding other kinds of sites of interest to vacationers.
|Curacao Liqueur Distillery||Distillery||1.7 mi. East of Central Willemstad|
|Monument||0.8 mi. West of Downtown Willemstad|
Bear in mind that there are other types of attractions. To find out more about other attractions for Curacao, go to this page.
Standing guard over Curacao is Fort Amsterdam, which was once the center of island life. The structure dates back to the 18th century, and now houses government office buildings, the Governor's Palace, and the Dutch Reformed Church (which features a cannonball embedded in the wall).
To protect the island in case Fort Amsterdam didn't hold, Fort Nassau was built on a hill overlooking St. Anna Bay. There are 14 cannons on site, as well as the stone structure to explore.
In Willemstad, there is a square named for Manuel Piar, who fought for independence from Venezuela. Waterfort is located at one end of the square. This small fort was built to defend Willemstad in the early 19th century, and today the original cannons still stand in position.
With so many sites to see, it will take a little pre-trip planning to make sure you see all that you want to see during your trip to Curacao. Regardless of what you put on your list, each attractions offers a piece of history and culture of the island for you to take home with you.
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