Willemstad Curaçao

UNESCO Willemstad Curacao

In 1634 the Dutch West India Company (WIC) established a trading post at Sint Anna Bay on the island of Curaçao. This sheltered bay was a natural harbour. When the slave trade started around 1660, Willemstad became a centre of African slave trading for all of America. During the course of 300 years, the town developed into a Caribbean seaport on both sides of Sint Anna Bay. Many different cultures influenced the townscape. The varied mix of architectural styles and Caribbean colours is characteristic of Willemstad. Many Dutch influences are noticeably present, as are those of the Spanish and Portuguese.

 

The historic centre of Willemstad has been a World Heritage property since 1997.