Willemstad, Curacao – travel photos

2015-10-04T23:15:11+00:0029 February 2012|Curacao, Travel photos, UNESCO World Heritage|

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

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


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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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.

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  1. Turkey's For Life 29 February 2012 at 2216 - Reply

    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.

  2. Anne-Sophie Redisch 1 March 2012 at 1115 - Reply

    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 at 1353 - Reply

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

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 2 March 2012 at 1619 - Reply

      Thanks, Mike 🙂

  4. Muza-chan 1 March 2012 at 1406 - Reply

    Great photo 🙂

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 2 March 2012 at 1620 - Reply

      Thanks, Muzachan. And so glad you’re well 🙂

  5. Denise 1 March 2012 at 1556 - Reply


    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 2 March 2012 at 1620 - Reply

      It really is a pretty town, Willemstad.

  6. Jackie Smith 1 March 2012 at 1710 - Reply

    Great photos! Puts another place on my bucket list! TPThursday is addictive.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 2 March 2012 at 1621 - Reply

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

  7. Nichole 1 March 2012 at 1727 - Reply

    Those building are beautiful. I’m such an architecture nerd. We need to bring this style to America.

  8. Vera Marie Badertscher 1 March 2012 at 1751 - Reply

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

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 2 March 2012 at 1622 - Reply

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

  9. Vera Marie Badertscher 1 March 2012 at 1753 - Reply

    Hmmm, Comment Luv didn’t work for me. Wonder what’s going on? (Second time’s a charm, apparently)

  10. Jessica 1 March 2012 at 1801 - Reply

    I would have never guessed Curacao! That last picture looks just like a brightly colored Vermeer painting. Very nice!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 2 March 2012 at 1623 - Reply

      You know, it kinda does…

  11. Sabrina 1 March 2012 at 1802 - Reply

    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.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 2 March 2012 at 1624 - Reply

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

  12. Flowers, What are there names? 1 March 2012 at 1900 - Reply

    […] Sophie’s World Searching the World’s curious and unsung corners […]

  13. Leigh 1 March 2012 at 1929 - Reply

    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.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 2 March 2012 at 1624 - Reply

      Still many places left, Leigh. Like western Canada 🙂

  14. Eileen Ludwig 1 March 2012 at 1941 - Reply

    Very interesting photos and I too felt I was in Europe – thanks for the journey

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 2 March 2012 at 1625 - Reply

      Thanks, Eileen!

  15. Cathy Sweeney 1 March 2012 at 2108 - Reply

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

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 2 March 2012 at 1628 - Reply

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

  16. Lisa 1 March 2012 at 2214 - Reply

    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.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 2 March 2012 at 1630 - Reply

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

      • Lisa 2 March 2012 at 2246 - Reply

        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.

  17. Laurel 1 March 2012 at 2324 - Reply

    I agree with Julia, so European looking and looks worthy of its UNESCO status.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 2 March 2012 at 1631 - Reply

      It did feel like the Netherlands. Only with warmer temperatures 🙂

  18. Julie 2 March 2012 at 0114 - Reply

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

  19. InsideJourneys 2 March 2012 at 0330 - Reply

    What a fabulous shot! There’s a lot of Europe in the Caribbean in varying degrees.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 2 March 2012 at 1632 - Reply

      Yes, I imagine you see lots in Jamaica, as well 🙂

  20. 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’. :))


    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 2 March 2012 at 1635 - Reply

      Just did now, Becca. So many great daydreams 🙂

  21. Sharon 2 March 2012 at 0538 - Reply

    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.

  22. ItalianNotes 2 March 2012 at 0908 - Reply

    Amazing that a small island city half way across the world looks so much like a colourful version of Amsterdam.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 2 March 2012 at 1632 - Reply

      Very distinct architecture, isn’t it…

  23. Jenna 2 March 2012 at 2134 - Reply

    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.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 6 March 2012 at 1308 - Reply

      I thought Curacao was very charming.

  24. Nancie 3 March 2012 at 0153 - Reply

    Looks like a gorgeous spot. Lovely architecture.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 6 March 2012 at 1308 - Reply

      Thanks for stopping by, Nancie.

  25. 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.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 6 March 2012 at 1306 - Reply

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

  26. Anwar 3 March 2012 at 0510 - Reply

    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 6 March 2012 at 1307 - Reply

      Yeah, much more than sun and sand in the Caribbean 🙂

  27. Michael Figueiredo 3 March 2012 at 2130 - Reply

    How beautiful! It looks like “Candyland” 🙂

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 6 March 2012 at 1306 - Reply

      Must be the colours 🙂

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