Caracas Bay, Curacao, Netherlands Antilles
Fort Beekenburg Curacao Reviews
Protecting Caracas Bay Feb 15, 2004
Throughout time Curacao, due to its location, has been vulnerable to privateers and pirates as well as armades from Spain, France, England, Venezuela and Germany. Therefore since the early 1600s the Dutch had built forts at almost every vulnerable spot on the island. None were able to withstand a full scale attack but they were very effective against the pirates.
Several of the forts have survied the test of time and have been put to use as hotels, shops, restaurants, professional offices or museums. Fort Beenkenburg located at Caracas Bay, overlooking the inner bay "Spanish Waters" is one of the museum forts. Caracas Bay was one of the few places where 'enemies' could make landfall in an attempt to capture Willemstad.
Originally built in 1703 to ward off the French and British fleets, it was named after Heer van Beek who from 1701 to 1704 coordinated the city of Willemstad's defense.
From the road, there is a stone stairway leading up to the port. Located beyond the port is the water reservoir, the platform with battlements, a stone guardhouse and the tower.
The tower itself is in the form of a rook, such as that in the game chess, with small canals leading down to the reservoir which ensured that the men had an ample supply of fresh rainwater.
Within the crenels (the cut-out portions of a battlement) there are worn out canons still pointing out to sea. This allows for an excellent view over the bay.
Fort Beekenburg is known to be one of the best preserved forts in the Caribbean and well worth the trip. You can combine this with a trip to the beach at Caracas Bay (Caracasbaai).
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