Queen Emma pontoon bridge, Willemstad
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.
Willemstad, Curacao – capital of the former autonomous Dutch region 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.
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.
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 – Yes, it was a bit odd, yet very interesting, to see such a quintessential European scene transplanted to the Caribbean.
Europe in the Caribbean. I like that ! So, pinned it !
Thanks, Mike 🙂
Great photo 🙂
Thanks, Muzachan. And so glad you’re well 🙂
It really is a pretty town, Willemstad.
Great photos! Puts another place on my bucket list! TPThursday is addictive.
Thanks. And yes, so many interesting new places, isn’t it?
Those building are beautiful. I’m such an architecture nerd. We need to bring this style to America.
The color just says fun. I’m not thinking Europe–I’m thinking Disney World.
Maybe it’s an idea for Disney that. Glad the C Luv worked eventually 🙂
Hmmm, Comment Luv didn’t work for me. Wonder what’s going on? (Second time’s a charm, apparently)
I would have never guessed Curacao! That last picture looks just like a brightly colored Vermeer painting. Very nice!
You know, it kinda does…
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.
I know what you mean. So many places I want to see…
[…] Sophie’s World Searching the World’s curious and unsung corners […]
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.
Still many places left, Leigh. Like western Canada 🙂
Very interesting photos and I too felt I was in Europe – thanks for the journey
Willemstad looks so picturesque. I’ve never been to any of the ABCs. Curaçao would be a good place to start.
I’ve been in Aruba and Curacao and much preferred the latter. Livelier, somehow…
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.
Ooh, sounds interesting. Interesting name, too, Manitoulin. Native American? Is it near Toronto?
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.
I agree with Julia, so European looking and looks worthy of its UNESCO status.
It did feel like the Netherlands. Only with warmer temperatures 🙂
Such a wonderful place! I wish I had ever the chance to get there…I really do like this dutch style of architecture!
What a fabulous shot! There’s a lot of Europe in the Caribbean in varying degrees.
Yes, I imagine you see lots in Jamaica, as well 🙂
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’. :))
Just did now, Becca. So many great daydreams 🙂
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.
Amazing that a small island city half way across the world looks so much like a colourful version of Amsterdam.
Very distinct architecture, isn’t it…
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.
I thought Curacao was very charming.
Looks like a gorgeous spot. Lovely architecture.
Thanks for stopping by, Nancie.
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.
Two Dutch, yet very different islands. I preferred Curacao. Look forward to reading your take if you go 🙂
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.
Yeah, much more than sun and sand in the Caribbean 🙂
How beautiful! It looks like “Candyland” 🙂
Must be the colours 🙂