Even a historian like Peters has to pause to get the dates right. The English conquered the island in , but it soon fell to the French under Napoleon in The French held it until the English wrested back control in — but they kept the island only until , when it was swatted back to the Dutch in the Treaty of Paris.
This is evident in its well-preserved colonial-style Dutch architecture that combines a modernist European aesthetic with a distinct Caribbean colour scheme.
Within the confines of an eight-block radius of 17th and 18th century Dutch architecture buildings, now a Unesco World Heritage site, with cobblestone streets, shops, multiple restaurants and bars, a spa, casino, courtyards, and winding gardens all leading to a museum largely dedicated to the slavery. Goat and iguana are featured on a lot of local-fare menus, but the must-have meal is Keshi Yena, a combination of eggs, chicken, raisins, and cheese! Papiamentu , Dutch, and English are the three official languages. The market is open Monday to Saturday from When a facility, however, is also open to non-married couples, then same-sex couples must also be included based on non-discrimination rules.
While the entire historic Willemstad city centre is a UNESCO World Heritage site, its oldest and most famous architectural strip is a saltwater-taffy-coloured row of buildings along Handelskade Street, in the Punda neighbourhood. Unlike in Holland, Caribbean construction materials are basic, mostly plaster made from coral stones and sand. This is mostly due to its knack for reinvention.
The current building dates back to , and its temple is the oldest in continuous use in the Americas. About Jewish families still live on the island. The custom likely began in the s in Brazil, where Jews were forbidden from operating synagogues. They used sand on prayer-room floors to muffle the sound of worshipers coming and going. These early Jewish families brought many of the artifacts on display in the museum today, including a Torah scroll dating back to and a year-old silver tray that is still used for the smashing of the wine glass at weddings.
Veeris has spent years consulting with local spiritual healers in an effort to revive the use of traditional herbal and naturopathic medicine. Veeris excitedly walks me through her public herb garden when I stop by if you plan to visit, call ahead to book an English-language tour. But then she raises her head, lifts her arms into the air and bursts into song — her thunderous singing voice carrying over the entire compound. She grabs my arm and begins dancing, kicking up dust as she drags me in a circle.
Veeris snaps off a twig and shoves the end of it in her mouth. She pulls a seed pod from its branches, cracks it open like a pea and offers me a small black pip. The seed is both astringent and sweet, a natural Red Bull. Veeris has seen a reawakening of interest in natural remedies since she first began collecting information about herbal traditions from elders on the island.
For years the Catholic Church prohibited the use of traditional medicines for healing, so much of this work was carried out in secret and passed down among certain families. She pauses as she approaches the next tree, kicks aside a large pile of iguana crap, and looks reverently into the branches.
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Blog Publications. Same-sex marriage is not currently recognized under the law in Curacao.
For information about symbolic ceremonies, check with your Certified Destination Wedding Specialist. Travel Documents Passports are required for visitors entering Curacao. Climate Curacao has a warm, sunny climate year round.
Blue Bay Beach is a popular sports center for diving and kayaking and hosts a barbeque lunch on Sundays. Kenepa Beach in Willemstad has bright turquoise waters which are certainly memorable, while Playa Cas Abou is a popular and tourist-friendly beach.
Activities Curacao has a number of worthy excursions for visitors. The Hato Caves have an elaborate network of stalactites and stalagmites with drawings dating back 1, years. The Christoffel National Park has lush gardens worth exploring via hiking and biking.