Willemstad is lovely, laid-back, Dutch, colorful, and lively. It is pretty much a typical Caribbean island, except that it is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, rather than French or Mexican or independent. Anyway, we took the photos below during a 1-2 hour stroll around the city. The buildings are colorful, with lots of Dutch architecture. Street art thrives, in both paintings and sculptures. You can see that two of the buildings used to be large shuttered colonial-style mansions, with a balcony along the second floor.
The yellow and white building that looks like it might be a church is in fact the local Prosecutor’s Office. After that, we saw shops in what looked to be a former fort. We asked a security guard if the building used to be a fort, and he corrected us: “It is still a fort!” There was a whole row of restaurants along the waterfront, as you can see through the arch and in the photos following. But we didn’t see any cannons or any indications that it was “still a fort.”
Near the end are two photos of “Our Swinging Old Lady,” as the locals call the Queen Emma Bridge. It is a pontoon bridge, and when a boat needs to pass, an alarm is sounded, the entry gates lock, and the bridge swings open so the boat can pass by. The first photo of the bridge shows the two parts of the bridge coming together after opening, while the second shows the walkway cleared for passage. The last photo was a sign we saw on a small building. In both Dutch and Spanish, it warns: Electricity! Danger of Death!