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Museums of Curacao; the historical journey

Curacao might be small, but it is a charming destination characterized by a fascinating history. From the colonisation of the island by the Dutch, the impressive economic growth of its port industry, the heritage of its culture, the slavery period followed by emancipation. There is so much to talk about and to learn about this magnificent island. I invite you to go on an historical voyage by visiting the various museums of the island of Curacao, which will certainly captivate you while you are exploring the information within their walls. Those museums are beyond what you can expect since they are all part of historic monuments and are located either in the city center or scattered in between the more natural parts of the island.

 

 

SAVONET MUSEUM

 

Travel back in time with a visit to the Savonet Museum located at the entrance of the beautiful Christoffel national park. This former plantation house built in 1662 is an important cultural site to visit for its well-kept structures and artifacts from the past. This unique landmark allows its visitors to recount the social evolution of Curacao through the story of the island’s first inhabitants, the plantation’s owners, and the enslaved people. Different exhibits are presented for you to witness the situation of the distinct groups of the slavery period as well as the evolution of the civilization and customs following emancipation. To get in-depth with all the details, you can do an audio tour or a guided tour with a local guide.

 

Visit www.christoffelpark.org for more information

 

 

MONGUI MADURO MUSEUM

 

Once you pass through the doors of Landhuis Rooi Catootje, be ready to relive some events of the Levy Maduro family. Former plantation house Rooi Catootje is home to the Mongui Maduro Museum, for which everything started when S.E.L. Maduro gifted his wife this plantation house back in 1853. Within these walls, you will get to immerse yourself into the past and learn about the influences of this renowned family in the social, cultural and economic history of Curacao. Not only will you get to read about their colorful life, but you will also witness genuine antiques and artifacts from this era of Curacao.

 

Visit www.maduromuseum.com for more information

 

 

JEWISH CULTURAL HISTORICAL MUSEUM

 

As you stroll through the quaint streets of Punda, you will surely notice the Mikvé Israel-Emanuel Synagogue which was built in 1732. Visit the imposing sanctuary and our museum across the inner courtyard to learn about almost 400 years of Jewish life on the island. With exhibits that explore the arrival of the first Jew to Curacao in 1634 to the social, cultural, and economic impact of Jews on the Caribbean island, the museum provides visitors with an in-depth look into the past and present Jewish communities of Curacao. Visitors also gain a first-hand look through various films and videos in the museum.

 

Visit www.jewishmuseumcuracao.org  for more information

 

 

CURACAO MARITIME MUSEUM

 

Did you know that Curacao has one of the oldest and busiest harbors in the Caribbean? Once you are visiting the hidden gem of the ABC islands, you will quickly notice the importance of the maritime activities all around the island. Located in a monumental building in the Scharloo district, The Curacao Maritime Museum has a 3-story permanent exhibition sharing 500 years of history thanks to Curacao’s natural harbor. The museum presents a retrospective view of this economic center with the arrival of the indigenous people “Caquetios” who crossed the sea with their canoes, the Spanish and Dutch explorers, the slave trade, and modern social activities. The maritime prosperity of the island is celebrated with the demonstration of original nautical charts, ship models, and navigational equipment. Due to its strategic location in international trade routes on the Atlantic Ocean and its natural port, Curacao has been an important commercial center since its colonization by the Netherlands. The museum also highlights the arrival of the oil refinery in 1918 which is directly connected to the harbor as well as the mission of the Dutch Navy to protect the island. If you wish to further explore the maritime history of the island of Curacao, you can do so beyond the walls of the museum by joining the guided boat tour through the Schottegat harbor. You will have the opportunity to see with your own eyes the day-to-day activities of the port accompanied by an interesting narrative about past stories.

 

Visit www.maduromuseum.com for more information

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