By the way, "Guilders" has been remained as the currency on the islands, while the Netherlands adopted the euro. And citizens of these islands have the Dutch citizenship and passport...;-)
Here are more pictures of this part of the city...
Otrobanda is "the other side" of the city. Its architecture is more Spanish. Those, who were not very welcomed in Punda, lived here, and the style of houses is a hodgepodge :-). Houses were built low so as not to obstruct the view and to allow to see approaching enemy ships.
Here's "the house of the bride" ...;-)
This is the statue to Pedro Luis Brion at the square called Brionplein.
I read in the guidebook about the "interesting architecture style" (or about the lack of it :-)). This is Hotel Kura Hulanda...
The most interesting, as for me, was this women in hair curlers...;-)
Amerigo Vespucci named the island "The Land of the Giant", because its Indians seemed to be very high.
But I didn't think so... :-)
And it's very easy to understand that. The time is different now. Today, the island is very cosmopolitan - there are more than 50 ethnic minorities.
There are several fortresses in the capital, of 17-18 centuries. They used to defend the city from the pirates, the British, and the French. One of them is called
, built in 1769. There's also a church nearby with a cannon ball left after the British attack.
Another fortress is called Fort Waterfort, it was built in 1634. But it was rebuilt in 1827.
Rif Fort was built in 1828. During World War II, there was a steel cable stretched between these two forts against enemy ships.
It's necessarily to mention trees called Divi Divi. Due to relatively dry and windy climate, they are always inclined to the ground and always in the same direction, to the west! You can even orient yourself with their help!
And these houses are for the unemployed or for people with very low incomes. Moreover, they are very cheap...
There are various monuments, mostly, to fighters for the independence of the island...
But there is also the monument to the Dutch queen...
Perhaps, liqueur is produced exactly here;-)...
We are sitting and waiting for the ferry...
There are no any interesting resources for mining and export, as well as there's no appropriate climate for agriculture on the island. Therefore, the standard of living had been rather low for a long time. In 1920, the discovery of oil in Venezuela has presented the chance to people of the ABC islands. Stable climate (including the political one) and deep water, allowing huge tankers to enter the bay, influenced the choice of islands (Aruba and Curaçao) for accommodation of oil refineries.
However, the oil fairy tale is a checkered business and now, islands are oriented mainly on tourism.
On Aruba, you really see at a glance that the tourism industry is prospering there, but there are not many tourists on
However, now, there is quite a strong movement for the complete separation of the island from the Netherlands.
Here is the flag of the island near the Dutch one, it was still there during my visit in 2010.