Willemstad is the capital city of Curacao and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s divided in two by the Santa Ana Bay, a narrow but deep channel that separates the districts of Punda and Otrobanda. These two districts are connected by the Queen Emma Pontoon Bridge, which swings open when ships wish to enter the harbour.

The beautifully coloured buildings along the street of Handelskade on the Punda side are the most photographed buildings in the city. An outstanding example of the architecture is provided by Penha & Sons, the daffodil yellow-coloured building straight across from the bridge.

The floating market by the canal on Sha Carpileskade is worth a visit simply to look at the displays of fruit and vegetables brought over from Venezuela by merchants. On the other side of this canal is the Maritime Museum.

I was there on the Queen’s Birthday National Holiday (April 30th) and there were so many people wearing orange shirts that  I thought a cruise ship from Holland was in the port. But no, all these people lived in the city and surrounding areas.


Traveler JulianJulian has written articles on Middle Eastern and European architecture for the US magazine Skipping Stones. He has written travel articles that were published in The Toronto Globe and Mail, Fate Magazine, National Catholic Register, and Northwest Travel. Julian has also written articles for the In The Know Traveler, Go Nomad, InTravelmag, and Go World Travel websites. He has also taken many photographs that have appeared in travel guides by National Geographic, Thomas Cook and The Rough Guides. Examples of his work can be found at http://www.photographersdirect.com/sellers/details.asp?portfolio=13734