The Dutch West India Company established Willemstad, a trading post off St Anna Bay in Curacao, in 1634. In the following 300 years the trading post evolved into a bustling port city influenced by many different cultures, as is illustrated by the variety of colourful houses in a range of architectural styles.
- Willemstad has been one of six Caribbean sites on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1997.
- Its many cultural influences make Willemstad an extraordinary town.
Colourful cultural melting pot
A mix of Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese building styles all painted in bright Caribbean colours – this is part of what makes Willemstad so special. It is also an extraordinary example of what is called a ‘multicultural city’. These unique elements have remained fully intact over the past 300 years, particularly in historic districts like Punda, Otrabanda and Pietermaai.
The UNESCO World Heritage Committee added Willemstad to its list of protected sites in 1997 as a way to protect and preserve this unique location.