Fort Beekenburg lies on a rocky outcrop next to the Caracas Bay east of the city of Willemstad, on the Caribbean island of Curaçao in the Dutch Antilles.
Fort Beekenburg was built in 1703 on the orders of the Governor Van Beek to protect the entrance to the bay behind it; the Spaanse Water. The round tower of the fort was completely built out of stones that were fabricated in the Netherlands and which were shipped to Curaçao as ballast.
During the 18th century the fort was neglected in peacetime but restored every time the threat of war came. During these episodes it frequently and with success warded off attacks of English warships, French buccaneers and other pirates. In 1800 its armament consisted of 6 eight-pounder and 4 twelve-pounder cannons. The Battery Uitkijk nearby, which fell under the same command, was armed with 2 twelve-pounder and 2 eighteen-pounder cannons. At present nothing remains of this battery.
When in 1800 the island was taken over by the English, Fort Beekenburg was manned by a detachment of English marines from the corvette Nimrod. When in 1803 the island was returned to the Dutch the fort regained a Dutch garrison.
In May 1805 there was a new war with the English and a Commodore Murray with his squadron tried in vain to attack Fort Beekenburg. A month later he returned and he tried again with more vigour. He managed to land in the Caracas Bay and a land battle of several days ensued. With the help of reinforcements the Dutch garrison defeated the English and drove them back into the sea.
In 1807 the island again surrendered to the English. But the commander of Fort Beekenburg, a lieutenant Hendriks, refused to turn the fort over to English. He was however overpowered by his own men who then opened the gates and deserted.
Later Curaçao was again returned to the Dutch. Fort Beekenburg then served as a military outpost until the mid 19th century after which it was dismantled.
Between 1927 and 2005 the fort was inaccessible as the area around it was owned and used by an oil company. At present Fort Beekenburg is freely accessible and you can climb all the way to the top of the tower. It is my favorite fort on Curaçao due to its appearance and location. On a hill nearby there is also a beautiful, abandoned and also freely accessible, 19th century building, which was used as a quarantine hospital. So Fort Beekenburg is really worth a visit.