Fort Waakzaamheid

Fort Waakzaamheid lies in the western Otrabanda neighborhood in the city of Willemstad on the Caribbean island of Curaçao in the Dutch Antilles. The name Waakzaamheid translates to Alertness.

Fort Waakzaamheid is a small fort and was probably built between February and May of 1803 to defend the island against a possible French invasion. It was built at a cross section of roads leading into Willemstad. Its back was guarded by another small fort which has now disappeared; Fort Wreker.

In January 1804 both forts were taken by the English troops under Captain William Bligh (of Bounty-fame). The forts artillery, 4 cannons, were pointed at the center of Willemstad and bombarded the buildings and forts there. One of the cannon balls which hit the western facade of the Fortkerk in Fort Amsterdam can still be seen embedded in the wall there. This siege on Willemstad lasted for 26 days. Later on the English retreated from the island and Fort Waakzaamheid came into Dutch hands again.

In 1807 the island surrendered to the English. In 1816 the island was returned to the Dutch but the fort never regained its military occupation.

During WW II the Americans placed anti aircraft guns on the walls of Fort Waakzaamheid, built barracks and used it as an observation post.

When I visited the remains of the fort were built over to house a restaurant. At present the restaurant has closed.

This building is not very distinguishable as a fort. It looks as if only the lower rubble stone walls are original.

 

Fort Waakzaamheid

Fort Waakzaamheid lies in the western Otrabanda neighborhood in the city of Willemstad on the Caribbean island of Curaçao in the Dutch Antilles. The name Waakzaamheid translates to Alertness.

Fort Waakzaamheid is a small fort and was probably built between February and May of 1803 to defend the island against a possible French invasion. It was built at a cross section of roads leading into Willemstad. Its back was guarded by another small fort which has now disappeared; Fort Wreker.

In January 1804 both forts were taken by the English troops under Captain William Bligh (of Bounty-fame). The forts artillery, 4 cannons, were pointed at the center of Willemstad and bombarded the buildings and forts there. One of the cannon balls which hit the western facade of the Fortkerk in Fort Amsterdam can still be seen embedded in the wall there. This siege on Willemstad lasted for 26 days. Later on the English retreated from the island and Fort Waakzaamheid came into Dutch hands again.

In 1807 the island surrendered to the English. In 1816 the island was returned to the Dutch but the fort never regained its military occupation.

During WW II the Americans placed anti aircraft guns on the walls of Fort Waakzaamheid, built barracks and used it as an observation post.

When I visited the remains of the fort were built over to house a restaurant. At present the restaurant has closed.

This building is not very distinguishable as a fort. It looks as if only the lower rubble stone walls are original.