Fort Amsterdam, Curaçao’s oldest building, dates back to 1635, just a year after Johan van Walbeeck captured the island for the Dutch West India Company. The fort played a crucial role in defending the city and harbor against privateers and other threats. It housed the director, troops, a church, warehouses, and water cisterns. Today, it is Curaçao’s government center within its massive walls and four bastions.
The former residence of the W.I.C. director, built above the fort’s entrance, now serves as the Governor’s home. In the 1870s, the façade underwent updates to reflect the popular neoclassical style of that era while preserving the original 17th-century walls. The entrance to the Governor’s Palace within Fort Amsterdam features an impressive double staircase.
Name of property:
Fort Amsterdam & Governor’s Palace
Trapezium-shaped fortification dating back from 1635. Four bastions (Vlaggestok, Nieuwe Batterij, De Klok, De Kat) are connected by curtain walls. The fort houses the Governor’s palace, the Fort Church (1766), and the former General Secretary (1857). The Governor’s Palace is built between the western bastions as a two-story structure made up of two adjoining elongated pavilions covered with hipped roofs. The ground floor of the palace provides an entrance gateway to the fort.
Architectural historical and cultural-historical value as one of the oldest structures on the island and the oldest fort built by the Dutch West India Company (WIC), and as the seat of government from the times of the WIC until nowadays. Specific value as part of a protected monumental townscape.
17th, 18th and 19th century