February 15, 2015

1462 NETHERLANDS (Curaçao) - Historic Area of Willemstad, Inner City and Harbour, Netherlands Antilles (UNESCO WHS)

Formerly the capital of the Netherlands Antilles, Willemstad is the capital city of Curaçao, a country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and part of the Dutch Caribbean. It is a typical port town, but one without a hinterland, which focused on the neighbouring Spanish, English, and French colonies on the mainland of South America. The historic centre of the city consists of four quarters: the Punda and Otrobanda, separated by the Sint Anna Bay (an inlet that leads into the large harbour called the Schottegat), as well as the Scharloo and Pietermaai Smal quarters.

Punda was established in 1634, when the Dutch captured the island from Spain. Otrobanda, founded in 1707, is the newer section of the city, considered its cultural centre. Each district has its own distinct urban morphology resulting from successive planning concepts, but they share a unique 'tropicalized' historical architecture of Dutch origin. Punda represents a dense and compact urban structure, reflecting its origin as a fortified town. Pietermaai and Scharloo enjoy the relative freedom of space resulting in an open layout of streets lined by often quite luxurious dwellings, whereas Otrobanda features both an open compound layout and a dense alley structure.

The development of Punda began with the construction of Fort Amsterdam, designed according to the old Dutch fortification system. The fort with its five bastions was a self-contained settlement, with its own church and water supply as well as the residence of the governor and barracks for the garrison. Within each of the settlements flanking the bay there is a waterfront square, and they are linked by the famous pontoon bridge erected in 1888, officially known as the Queen Emma Bridge but better known to the inhabitants as the Swinging Old Lady (on the postcard).

About the stamp
The stamp is part of a serie issued on September 10, 2014 to mark the 21st World Orchid Conference South Africa 2014.

Willemstad - Wikipedia
Historic Area of Willemstad, Inner City and Harbour, Netherlands Antilles - UNESCO official website

Sender: Chery
Sent from Willemstad (Aruba), on 01.10.2014
Photo:Werner J. Bertsch

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful postcard. Dad says some of our family come from The Netherlands, so I've always had a soft spot for that country.