Willemstad, Curacao – travel photos

Curacao: People walking across Queen Emma pontoon bridge in Willemstad, with pretty, colourful houses in the background
Queen Emma pontoon bridge, Willemstad

Curacao

Today’s travel photo is from a 17th century Dutch trading settlement. It’s been many years since I visited, but I remember being enthralled by the cheerful, charming capital of Curacao and the Netherlands Antilles. Apparently, I’m not the only one. UNESCO has decided the European colonial old town and harbour of Willemstad is worth preserving and added it to its World Heritage list in 1997.

One of the interesting features of Willemstad is Queen Emma. Queen Emma pontoon bridge, that is. A ship channel separates Punda and Otrabanda, the two parts of town. With childish glee, I enjoyed waiting and watching as the pontoon bridge swung into place.

Curacao: Pretty, colourful facades of Willemstad houses near the canal

Where:

Willemstad, Curacao – capital of the former autonomous country Netherlands Antilles.

Curacao is part of the group of islands known as the ABC-islands – Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao. After the Netherlands Antilles was dissolved in 2010, the three Caribbean islands have varying degrees of ties to the Dutch motherland. Like Aruba, Curacao is a constituent country within the Netherlands.

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unesco logo

The Historic Area of Willemstad, Inner City and Harbour, Curaçao is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Here are more UNESCO World Heritage sites around the world.

48 Responses to “Willemstad, Curacao – travel photos”

  1. Turkey's For Life 29 February 2012 2216 #

    Wow, if you hadn’t written Curacao in your title, your picture tells a story of a typical European scene. It must be really bizarre to be there, knowing you’re not in Europe.
    Julia
    Turkey’s For Life recently posted..Fethiye For Best City 2012

  2. Anne-Sophie Redisch
    Anne-Sophie Redisch 1 March 2012 1115 #

    Julia – Yes, it was a bit odd, yet very interesting, to see such a quintessential European scene transplanted to the Caribbean.

  3. RyukyuMike 1 March 2012 1353 #

    Europe in the Caribbean. I like that ! So, pinned it !

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 2 March 2012 1619 #

      Thanks, Mike :)

  4. Muza-chan 1 March 2012 1406 #

    Great photo :)
    Muza-chan recently posted..A Japanese Song per Day: Marina Inoue – Houseki

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 2 March 2012 1620 #

      Thanks, Muzachan. And so glad you’re well :)

  5. Denise 1 March 2012 1556 #

    pretty!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Denise recently posted..Picture Perfect: Bode Museum,Berlin: beautiful inside and out

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 2 March 2012 1620 #

      It really is a pretty town, Willemstad.

  6. Jackie Smith 1 March 2012 1710 #

    Great photos! Puts another place on my bucket list! TPThursday is addictive.
    Jackie Smith recently posted..TP Thursday: A Spanish Food and Wine Fest

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 2 March 2012 1621 #

      Thanks. And yes, so many interesting new places, isn’t it?

  7. Nichole 1 March 2012 1727 #

    Those building are beautiful. I’m such an architecture nerd. We need to bring this style to America.
    Nichole recently posted..Cheap Hotels in Downtown Chicago

  8. Vera Marie Badertscher 1 March 2012 1751 #

    The color just says fun. I’m not thinking Europe–I’m thinking Disney World.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 2 March 2012 1622 #

      Maybe it’s an idea for Disney that. Glad the C Luv worked eventually :)

  9. Vera Marie Badertscher 1 March 2012 1753 #

    Hmmm, Comment Luv didn’t work for me. Wonder what’s going on? (Second time’s a charm, apparently)
    Vera Marie Badertscher recently posted..The Sun Rises at Bryce Canyon, Utah

  10. Jessica 1 March 2012 1801 #

    I would have never guessed Curacao! That last picture looks just like a brightly colored Vermeer painting. Very nice!
    Jessica recently posted..Travel Mishaps Make the Best Stories

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 2 March 2012 1623 #

      You know, it kinda does…

  11. Sabrina 1 March 2012 1802 #

    The different colors on the houses are so fun. Want… to… visit…. :) Yet another place that I haven’t been to and would love to see.
    Sabrina recently posted..What to do in Normandy? Visiting Honfleur France

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 2 March 2012 1624 #

      I know what you mean. So many places I want to see…

  12. Leigh 1 March 2012 1929 #

    My first thought when I see the title – Curacao, is that my God you have been everywhere!!!

    I love the colourful buildings and it looks like a very pleasant place to visit.
    Leigh recently posted..Travel Photo Thursday: There is Beauty in a Canadian Winter

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 2 March 2012 1624 #

      Still many places left, Leigh. Like western Canada :)

  13. Eileen Ludwig 1 March 2012 1941 #

    Very interesting photos and I too felt I was in Europe – thanks for the journey
    Eileen Ludwig recently posted..Flowers, What are their names?

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 2 March 2012 1625 #

      Thanks, Eileen!

  14. Cathy Sweeney 1 March 2012 2108 #

    Willemstad looks so picturesque. I’ve never been to any of the ABCs. Curaçao would be a good place to start.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 2 March 2012 1628 #

      I’ve been in Aruba and Curacao and much preferred the latter. Livelier, somehow…

  15. Lisa 1 March 2012 2214 #

    I love the architecture in the Dutch islands – great photos! I love a swing bridge too! There’s one from the mainland to Manitoulin Island here in Ontario that we have to cross when we go to visit grandparents in the summer. It swings on the hour and if you arrive at the time it means that you have to sit and wait for about 15 minutes for the bridge to swing back before you can cross but it’s so worth the wait to see that bridge swinging.
    Lisa recently posted..Vigeland Park with Kids

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 2 March 2012 1630 #

      Ooh, sounds interesting. Interesting name, too, Manitoulin. Native American? Is it near Toronto?

      • Lisa 2 March 2012 2246 #

        Yes, it’s a native name. There are a number of First Nations communities on the island – Emma and I attended a Pow Wow last summer which was really interesting. It’s about a 6 hour or so drive north of Toronto. Manitoulin is the largest freshwater island in the world and is in Lake Huron. It’s a beautiful spot which gets busy in the summer with boaters and other tourists who come to enjoy the outdoors.
        Lisa recently posted..Vigeland Park with Kids

  16. Laurel 1 March 2012 2324 #

    I agree with Julia, so European looking and looks worthy of its UNESCO status.
    Laurel recently posted..A Photojourney to Besalu, Catalonia

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 2 March 2012 1631 #

      It did feel like the Netherlands. Only with warmer temperatures :)

  17. Julie 2 March 2012 0114 #

    Such a wonderful place! I wish I had ever the chance to get there…I really do like this dutch style of architecture!

  18. InsideJourneys 2 March 2012 0330 #

    What a fabulous shot! There’s a lot of Europe in the Caribbean in varying degrees.
    InsideJourneys recently posted..Travel Photo Thursday: Falmouth’s Georgian Buildings, I

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 2 March 2012 1632 #

      Yes, I imagine you see lots in Jamaica, as well :)

  19. Becca@R We There Yet Mom? 2 March 2012 0452 #

    I totally thought it was Europe – funny that I saw several others did as well!

    I would love for you to share these pictures with my readers as well! I host a weekly Friday travel photo meme called Friday Daydreamin’. :))

    ~Becca

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 2 March 2012 1635 #

      Just did now, Becca. So many great daydreams :)

  20. Sharon 2 March 2012 0538 #

    It looks like a pleasant place to visit. I just love the buildings and their colors are just so cheerful. I cannot wait to walk along the bridge together with the citizens and just enjoy the breeze.

  21. ItalianNotes 2 March 2012 0908 #

    Amazing that a small island city half way across the world looks so much like a colourful version of Amsterdam.
    ItalianNotes recently posted..Celebrating the man who named America

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 2 March 2012 1632 #

      Very distinct architecture, isn’t it…

  22. Jenna 2 March 2012 2134 #

    I really loved Dutch architecture when I was in the Netherlands, so I love the details and shapes on these buildings as well. I have seen lots of photos from Curacao, and it always looks so charming.
    Jenna recently posted..The Perfect Day Trip to Napa Valley

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 6 March 2012 1308 #

      I thought Curacao was very charming.

  23. Nancie 3 March 2012 0153 #

    Looks like a gorgeous spot. Lovely architecture.
    Nancie recently posted..Travel Photo Thursday — March 1, 2012 — Seville From Above

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 6 March 2012 1308 #

      Thanks for stopping by, Nancie.

  24. Beautiful shots! I’ve always wanted to visit Curacao to see these colorful buildings. We’re looking at a cruise that stops here and Aruba at the end of the year so I hope it goes through. Have a great weekend.
    Mary @ The World Is A Book recently posted..Exploring Kohunlich Maya Ruins and Temple of the Masks

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 6 March 2012 1306 #

      Two Dutch, yet very different islands. I preferred Curacao. Look forward to reading your take if you go :)

  25. Anwar 3 March 2012 0510 #

    So beautiful. These photos of Curacao are great..so close yet honestly I just hadn’t really thought much of visiting. its nice to see this city, I forget about the culture of the islands sometime.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 6 March 2012 1307 #

      Yeah, much more than sun and sand in the Caribbean :)

  26. Michael Figueiredo 3 March 2012 2130 #

    How beautiful! It looks like “Candyland” :)
    Michael Figueiredo recently posted..Dubai in January

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 6 March 2012 1306 #

      Must be the colours :)

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