Landmarks in Willemstad

Photo Credit: © Charles Hoffman CC

Willemstad houses all of the island's most important historical attractions within a city structure that mixes modern with colonial European and Dutch trends.  A tour of the town will take you through several buildings which house important pieces of history and culture, speaking to what is and has been valued by locals over the years. 


Curacao Maritime Museum

If you like to become more aware of other cultures and places, you might enjoy visiting a museum during your time in Willemstad. To see complete information about each museum, try clicking on the name.

If you are looking to do some sight-seeing, visit Curacao Maritime Museum. It is located within 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

Many travelers also choose to visit Jewish Cultural Historical Museum. It is a part of 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: 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.

The following chart provides you with more information about some museums to choose from in Willemstad.

Museums In Willemstad
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 (599 9)- 434 7765 Downtown Willemstad
Numismatic Museum (599-9) 462-5912 Downtown Willemstad
Postal Museum (599 9) 465 80 10 Downtown Willemstad
Tele Museum (599-9) 465-2844 Downtown Willemstad

Historical Sites

Fort Nassau

Do you like learning about the historical roots of places you visit? If so, you should consider visiting one or two of these historical sites during your time in Willemstad.

If you are looking to do some sight-seeing, visit Mikve Israel-Emanuel Synagogue. It is situated at Jewish Cultural Historical Museum and found within 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 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.

Fort Amsterdam: A UNESCO world heritage site, the 1635 Fort Amsterdam is considered to be the most important of the eight forts on Curacao -- perhaps because it actually saw battle, but it could also be that it is well-restored (yet still not the most well-restored on the island), or even that it is set in a popular district of the island and thus gets a lot of foot traffic.

Glance through the following table to learn more about historical sites in Willemstad.

Historic Sites In Willemstad
Name Phone Location
Dutch Reformed Church -- Downtown Willemstad
Fort Amsterdam (599-9) 434-8200 Downtown Willemstad
Fort Nassau (599) 461-3450 0.7 mi. Northeast of Downtown Willemstad
Governor's Palace -- Downtown Willemstad
Landhuis Brievengat (599-9) 691-4961 4.4 mi. Northeast of Central Willemstad
Landhuis Groot Kwartier -- 2.2 mi. Northeast of Central Willemstad
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

Visitors can discover some other worthwhile local landmarks in Willemstad.

If you'd like to learn more about the distillery process, you might enjoy a visit to 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 other types of landmarks in this area. are provided down below.

Miscellaneous Landmarks In Willemstad
Name Type Location
Curacao Liqueur Factory at Landhuis Chobolobo Distillery 1.7 mi. East of Central Willemstad
Easy Divers Coral Cliff Attraction Downtown Willemstad
Plaza Andres Bello Monument 0.8 mi. West of Downtown Willemstad
Plaza Brion Monument Downtown Willemstad

Bear in mind that you can find other attraction types available too. To read more about other attractions for Willemstad, click this link.


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