Landmarks on Curacao

Landmarks on Curacao seem to be never ending

Photo credit: © cphoffman42
 

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.

Museums

Curacao Maritime Museum

If you enjoy learning about unfamiliar places and cultures, you might want to visit a museum during your vacation. Click on the each name for detailed information.

If you are looking to do some sight-seeing, visit Curacao Maritime Museum. It is found in downtown Willemstad. Aside from the permanent display that details the maritime history of the island, the guided tours are available Wednesday and Saturday at 2pm. A demonstrative exhibit about the history of oil refining on this island shows on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 1pm and features a working miniature oil refinery.

Attractions Map

If you are looking to do more sight-seeing, visit Jewish Cultural Historical Museum. It is found within Mikve Israel-Emanuel Synagogue and located in downtown Willemstad. The Museum is part of the Mikve Israel Emanuel Synagogue,home of the oldest continuously operating Jewish congregation in the Western Hemisphere (since 1651). The Museum displays an impressive collection of religious artifacts from the congregation's history such as Torah scrolls and Hanukkah lamps, as well as antique personal and household items.

Curacao Museum: Hours Monday through Friday are 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM, Sunday from 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM. Saturdays they are closed.

The table below provides you with a few details regarding some museums to consider on Curacao.

Museums On Curacao
Name Phone Location
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 (999) 434-7700 Downtown Willemstad
Landhuis Ascension 599-9-864-2892 3.8 mi. North of Central St. Willibrordus
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
The Money Museum Yotin Kortá (599-9) 434-5573 Downtown Willemstad
Tula Museum (599-9) 864-0244 1.6 mi. North-Northeast of Central Lagun

Historical Sites

Fort Nassau

If you like to experience the historical roots of foreign countries, you might want to visit some of these historical sites during your vacation.

Landhuis Brievengat: Inside Landhuis Brievengat is a small museum featuring antiques and local crafts. Visitors are welcome to explore the grounds to see how wealthy families lived on the island during the 18th century.

Many travelers also choose to 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 is open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

View this table for a listing of historic sites on the island.

Historic Sites On Curacao
Name Phone Location
Dutch Reformed Church -- Downtown Willemstad
Fort Amsterdam (599-9) 434-8200 Downtown Willemstad
Fort Beekenburg -- 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
Landhuis Groot Kwartier -- The vicinity of Willemstad, Central Curacao
Landhuis Kenepa Plantation (599-9) 864-0244 1.6 mi. North-Northeast of Central Lagun
Landhuis Zeelandia -- 1.8 mi. East-Northeast of Central Willemstad
Mikve Israel-Emanuel Synagogue (599-9) 461-1067 Downtown Willemstad
Waterfort -- Downtown Willemstad
Willemstad Historical District -- Downtown Willemstad

Miscellaneous Landmarks

Curacao Liqueur Factory at Landhuis Chobolobo

Travelers will discover some other intriguing landmarks on the island.

If you'd like to learn more about the distillery process, consider visiting Curacao Liqueur Factory at Landhuis Chobolobo. Surprisingly to many, this distillery 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 chart just below enables you to learn some key facts regarding other kinds of attractions of interest to visitors.

Miscellaneous Landmarks On Curacao
Name Type Location
Curacao Liqueur Factory at Landhuis Chobolobo Distillery 1.7 mi. East of Central Willemstad
Plaza Brion Monument Downtown Willemstad

Keep in mind, Curacao includes other attraction types. Click here to visit our article about other interesting attractions for Curacao.

Military Landmarks

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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