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History


Curaçao, an island in the Caribbean, is and will always be connected to the sea. Its strategic location and natural deep water harbor made it a major seafaring and commercial center from very early in its history. A rich history that continues to influence the daily lives of its community. The Curaçao Maritime Museum established itself with the goal to bring this unique maritime past to life.

 

The building

 

The Curaçao Maritime Museum is located in an old colonial two-storied mansion build in 1729. After this building was completely burned down in 1988, it was spectacularly restored. The interior is designed in maritime style, complete with a gangway, portholes and ship railings. The Museum was inaugurated in December 1998.

The exhibition


The Curaçao Maritime Museum harmoniously embraces the age old maritime history and modern twentieth century design. Visitors will take a discovery tour of more than 500 years of maritime history of the island of Curaçao. The story line is illustrated through authentic nautical charts, ship models and navigation equipment combined with modern day audiovisual techniques. All sorts of interesting details of the Curaçao maritime history are revered.

The Royal Dutch Navy


The Netherlands Antilles, which Curaçao is part of, is a self governed department of the Netherlands. The Royal Netherlands Navy has its own marine base on the island. The Curaçao Maritime Museum has a two-room exhibition about the marine past and future in the West, put together by the Marine Museum in Den Helder, Holland. This exhibition will show you that Navy is not just a tool of war. The Royal Netherlands Navy has a social and moral embodied role.

The Alphen


In 1778 a Dutch Marine frigate, named De Alphen, exploded in the Curaçao harbor, the St. Anna Bay. In 1984 they started excavating the remains of this ship. A few hundred objects, like canons, building stones, glass and ceramic bottles for water and wine, have been restored and conserved. This section of underwater archaeology gives the visitor an insight of the artifacts used by seamen on board during the last centuries. There is much to learn from the past, even if it is just a piece of something.