"Willemstad, a little diamant in military rough" Willemstad by Pavlik_NL
Willemstad Travel Guide: 57 reviews and 220 photos
Willemstad, or Williamstown (~ville, ~burg, ~borough) is situated on the farrest North-Western point of the province of North Brabant. Surrounded on three sides by water, it was the excellent place to place a strategic fortress against enemy invasions. When you go to Willemstad, be prepared to make a jump through time. This little town was one of the fortress towns that Willem of Orange (our father of the fatherland) appointed in the struggling for independence provinces from Holland used as a military base against the Spanish rulers. First there was a small village called “Ruigenhil” but after the defensive works were finished the town was renamed to it’s “creator” Willem. The son of Willem, Maurits dressed up the town further with the splendid “Maurits”house and the little church in the towns centre.
From whatever side you approach Willemstad doesn’t matter. You will always first meet the walls and bastions of the seven-pointed fortress works. Canals surrounding it and only one inlet with a narrow street passing a gateway that could easily be closed and defended. The waters surrounding three sides of Willemstad are the wide “Volkerak” and equally wide “Hollandsch Diep”. Now-a-days these waterways have enormous structures in them, belonging to the Deltaworks – a highly technological present defensive system against a whole different enemy: the North Sea. The “Volkerak”-sluses belong to the largest of their kind within Europe.
Because of this watery environment, Willemstad is in these modern times a centre of watersport. It’s cosy yaught-harbour is almost the whole year through filled with various boats and on the surrounding lakes surfing, sailing, but also swimming and diving are very popular. In combination with the historical beauty within the small, but amazingly picturesque place, this is for visitors of The Netherlands a highlight of unknown perspective. Unknown … because it seldomly is taken into travel brochures or tours through our little country.
The town is definately not that big. You can easily mistake it for a small village if it weren;t for the fortifications... more travel advice
Everywhere things remind the visitor about the fact that this town is a fortified work of defense. The Arsenal, the... more travel advice
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