Photographer's Note

Willemstad is the capital city of Curaao, an island in the southern Caribbean Sea that forms a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Formerly the capital of the Netherlands Antilles prior to its dissolution in 2010, it has an estimated population of 140,000. The historic centre of the city consists of two quarters: Punda and Otrobanda. They are separated by the St. Anna bay, an inlet that leads into the large natural harbour called the 'Schottegat'.
Punda was established in 1634, when the Dutch captured the island from Spain. The original name of Punda originally was de punt in Dutch. Otrobanda, which was founded in 1707, is the newer section of the city and is considered to be the cultural center of Willemstad. Its name originated from the Papiamentu otro banda, which means "the other side." Punda and Otrobanda are connected by Queen Emma Bridge, a long bridge of boats. Although still in use, these days most road traffic now uses the Queen Juliana Bridge built in 1967 (rebuilt 1974) which arches high over the bay further inland. Nearby is also the now non-functioning Queen Wilhelmina Bridge draw bridge.
The city center of Willemstad boasts an array of colonial architecture that is influenced by Dutch styles. The city center, with its peculiar architecture and beautiful harbour entry, has been made a UNESCO world heritage site.
Due to its location near the Venezuelan oilfields, its political stability and its natural deep water harbor, Willemstad became the site of an important seaport and refinery. Willemstad harbor is one of the largest oil handling ports in the Caribbean. The refinery, originally built and owned by Royal Dutch Shell in 1915, was sold to the Curaao government for the symbolic sum of one guilder in 1985 and is now leased to PDVSA, the state owned Venezuelan oil company.
The city also is a tourist destination and contains several casinos.
Willemstad is served by Hato International Airport, which is the home base of Dutch Antilles Express and Insel Air, Curaao's airlines.
The Snoga Synagogue in Willemstad was built by Sephardic Portuguese Jews from Amsterdam and Recife, Brazil. It is modeled after the Esnoga in Amsterdam. Congregation Mikv Israel (now Mikv Israel-Emanuel) built this synagogue in 1692; it was reconstructed in 1732 and is the oldest surviving synagogue building in the western hemisphere.
In this pic you can see one the most beautiful facades of Punda.

WILLEMSTAD.

Willemstad una citt di circa 125.000 abitanti, capitale di Curaao (possedimento dei Paesi Bassi).
La citt sita a sud-ovest di Curaao (la pi grande isola del gruppo) sul Mar dei Caraibi, non molto distante dalle coste del Venezuela. composta da 2 quartieri: Punda ed Otrobanda.
Punda venne costruita nel 1634, dopo che gli olandesi la presero dalla Spagna, dandole in principio il nome in olandese De Punt. Otrobanda venne fondata nel 1707 come nuovo settore cittadino ed considerata come il settore culturale di Willemstad.
Il centro storico, l'interno della citt ed il porto sono entrati a far parte dei Patrimoni dell'umanit dell'Unesco.
La citt una meta turistica piuttosto recettiva, ed in essa sono presenti svariati casin
Nella foto potete vedere una delle piu' belle facciate sul lungomare di Punda.

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Additional Photos by Luciano Gollini (lousat) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 17641 W: 140 N: 29014] (139236)
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