Beekenburg Fortress the last unspoilt fortress of Curacao
Fort Beekenburg - Caracasbaai - Curacao Travel Blog› entry 597 of 1090 › view all entries
As per today we have the luxury of a rental car. Although, a car? We rented a Daihatsu Sirion, a really small cookie jar on wheels. Despite all its basicness it is equipped with a real car alarm system. A system we never managed to fully understand. We were many times embarrassed by an alarm that started yelling like the end of the world had just arrived...
But, we had a very comfortable mobility. Our first trip was to the Caracas Bay, one of the other natural harbors of the island. At the entrance of the harbor one can find the remains of Fort Beekenburg (Beekenburg Fortress) one of the eight remaining Dutch fortresses on the island. Unlike the other fortresses which have been "developed" as touristic sites, Beekenburg is still a fortress, beautifully located amongst cactuses and other wild vegetation.
The reason for the absence of any restaurants, souvenir shops and other spoiling items is probably the fact that the fortress is situated on a peninsula that was owned (and closed) by Shell and the Isla Refineries from 1927 to 2005. In 2005 the Isla sold the island back to the government and since then the fortress can be visited again.
Beekenburg was built in 1703, probably by Governor van Beek. The main tower was completely constructed using bricks baked in The Netherlands using clay form the Waal river. These bricks were brought to Curaçao by the sailing ships as ballast.
The fortress was mainly used for protection against privateers and pirates that roamed the Caribbean at that time. It also successfully prevented the English from overtaking the island once.
Although the Caracas Bay has been taken over by the hotel resorts and Yachts, the area of the fortress is (apart from a huge oil rig and a cruise terminal), still rather unspoilt. From the fortress one has a splendid view on the deep blue sea, making Beekenburg a really pleasant place to be.
More pictures below! See also this beautiful site on the fortress.