from formal districts with stylish stone-built dwellings
now cherished as monuments, Historic Willemstad also
features quarters where wooden cottages abound. These
can be found in uphill and less accessible areas. Fleur
de Marie and Sint Jago in uphill Scharloo, Brionweg and
Quinta in uphill Otrobanda, and Cornet, Cher Asile and
Nieuw Nederland north of Oranjestraat east of the
historic town are prominent examples.
The wooden cottage or kas di tabla developed from the
kas di yerba, the traditional dwelling found in the
kunuku, Curaçao’s rural area. It normally features a
rectangular floor plan covered with a hipped roof with
corrugated iron roofing and in rare cases also ceramic
tiles. Its façade normally features a symmetrical
lay-out with a central door and flanking windows.
Depending on the owner’s status and wealth, the door and
windows are either clamped or made up of shutters. The
kas di tabla became a popular shelter with the influx of
workers from other Caribbean islands who came to work
for the oil refinery established on Curaçao in 1916.
Gingerbread details on the verandahs of wooden cottages
still refer to origin of their first inhabitants as can
be seen in Fleur de Marie.
Public Awareness and Heritage
Public interest in
preservation has long been weak. The first Monuments
Plan (1990) almost entirely focused on its main
objective: to save and preserve as many monuments as
A change in the attitude of the community evolved after
public outrage over the intended demolition of a
landmark monument in the historic district of Punda.
This provoked the coming into being of the Pro Monumento
Foundation (ProMo) in 1993.
ProMo has taken up the
task since to raise awareness among the public.
In order to achieve this ProMo organizes the highly
successful Monumento Habrí events, Open Monuments Days,
and takes initiatives to develop heritage education
With the organization of Monumento Habrí events every
two years ProMo aims to bring monuments closer to the
people of Curaçao, enhance their understanding and
knowledge of the history and architecture of the
monuments and make them see the benefits of the
restoration of monuments.
Monumento Habrí events were held in 1994 (Historic
district of Scharloo), 1995 (Hoogstraat Area, Otrobanda
Ariba), 1997 (Alley Area, Otrobanda Abou), 1999
(Historic district of Punda), 2001 (Yzerstraat Area,
Otrobanda), 2003 (Scharloo Abou) and 2004 (again Hoogstraat Area, Otrobanda
For heritage education a working group has been set up
for the preparation of educational packages for
elementary and secondary schools.
Apart from ProMo, The Curaçao Monuments Foundation actively
supports the promotion of public awareness and heritage
Focusing on the youth of Curaçao, the Foundation has
produced a half-hour multi-language educational video on
monuments for television broadcasts and for heritage
education at schools.
The Foundation also issues a monuments calendar each
year which has become a very much sought after piece and