Curaçao: Willemstad – Not afraid of colors
Willemstad, the capital of Curaçao, breathes color.
The beautiful Dutch architecture with Caribbean flavor offers a feast to the eyes.
Curaçao (Dutch: Curaçao; Papiamentu: Kòrsou) is an island in the southern Caribbean Sea, off the Venezuelan coast.
The Country of Curaçao (Dutch: Land Curaçao, Papiamentu: Pais Kòrsou), which includes the main island plus the small, uninhabited island of Klein Curaçao (“Little Curaçao“), is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Curaçao is the largest and most populous of the three ABC islands (for Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao) of the Lesser Antilles, specifically the Leeward Antilles.
It has a land area of 444 square kilometers (171 square miles). As of 1 January 2009, it had a population of 141,766.
Willemstad (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈʋɪ.ləm.ˌstɑt]) is the capital city of Curaçao.
Formerly the capital of the Netherlands Antilles prior to its dissolution in 2010, it has an estimated population of 140,000. The historic center of the city consists of two quarters: Punda and Otrobanda. They are separated by the St. Anna bay, an inlet that leads into the large natural harbor called the ‘Schottegat‘.
The Punda district is the main shopping area and the seat of government of the Netherlands Antilles.
It is the oldest district of Willemstad, established in 1634, when the Dutch captured the island from Spain. The original name of Punda was de punt in Dutch.
The city center of Willemstad boasts an array of colonial architecture that is influenced by Dutch styles. The city center, with its peculiar architecture and beautiful harbor entry, has been made a UNESCO world heritage site.
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.”
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