Scharloo, the come-back of grandeur

Scharloo - Willemstad - Curacao Travel Blog

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Scharloo, restored

Scharloo (<scare-low>) is a neighborhood in Willemstad, right next to Punda. The area started as a plantation. This, however, turned out to be a failure since the soil was not suitable for agriculture. The origin of its name is still unclear. Some think it is named after one of the first owners of the plantation Mr. Charlois, others think it is a combination of the Dutch words "Schaar" (coastal ground) and "Loo" (forest).

Anyway, after the plantation epoch Scharloo developed its residential and maritime character. Huge mansions were built. Some became hotels, others boarding houses, others housed brothels and less respectable businesses.

Scharloo, restored
The Scharlooweg, the longest road in the neighborhood housed many really impressive mansions. The owners were merchants who worked in Punda and could easily commute to their work form the Scharlooweg. In 1936, however, things took a turn to decline. The huge mansions became too big for their occupants. The construction of new neighborhoods farther away from the city and the introduction of cars that made a longer commute easier, made many people abandon their houses on the Scharlooweg. The construction of the huge Juliana Bridge, whose access ramps were projected through the neighborhood, did not help either. More and more houses were abandoned and started a slow but unavoidable decline. New inhabitants showed up and took control of the neighborhood: "chollers" (drug addicts).
Scharloo, hopefully a future project
The once so majestic and glorious Scharlooweg was doomed. When I visited Curaçao 18 years ago, this was mainly the picture of Scharloo. A sad view of partly collapsed mansions where nobody should go.

Fortunately this has all changed. Many of the precious mansions have been restored to their previous grandeur. They are not inhabited by rich merchants anymore. They now serve as offices for lawyers, foundations, banks and diplomatic posts. But that is way better than the sad sight of the road from the near past.

The process is not finished yet. There are still many mansions that need attention. But Scharloo is certainly reviving, and that is a very good thing!

More pictures below! Deze fake-tekst heb ik toegevoegd om net iets meer regels te genereren zodat deze rare w

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Scharloo, restored
Scharloo, restored
Scharloo, restored
Scharloo, restored
Scharloo, hopefully a future proje…
Scharloo, hopefully a future proj…
Scharloo, restored
Scharloo, restored
Scharloo, hopefully a future proje…
Scharloo, hopefully a future proj…
Scharloo, restored
Scharloo, restored
Scharloo, hopefully a future proje…
Scharloo, hopefully a future proj…
Scharloo, hopefully a future proje…
Scharloo, hopefully a future proj…
Scharloo, restored
Scharloo, restored
Scharloo, restored
Scharloo, restored
Scharloo, hopefully a future proje…
Scharloo, hopefully a future proj…
Scharloo, hopefully a future proje…
Scharloo, hopefully a future proj…
Scharloo, hopefully a future proje…
Scharloo, hopefully a future proj…
Scharloo, hopefully a future proje…
Scharloo, hopefully a future proj…
Scharloo, hopefully a future proje…
Scharloo, hopefully a future proj…
Scharloo, hopefully a future proje…
Scharloo, hopefully a future proj…
Scharloo - Willemstad - Curacao
photo by: mdalamers