"Willemstad, a little diamant in military rough" Willemstad by Pavlik_NL

Willemstad Travel Guide: 27 reviews and 66 photos

One of the most beautiful fortress towns

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.

Defended by and against the water

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.

Watersport and internal touristic hotspot

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.

  • Intro Written Sep 19, 2003
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Reviews (24)

Comments (4)

  • Oct 30, 2003 at 2:00 PM

    Great page about this "hidden" treasure Paul!! Your fantastic pics bring back nice memories, esp. the harbour ones :-) !!

  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo
    Sep 27, 2003 at 10:47 AM

    Wonderful page: excellent tips and infornmation! Many amazing pictures!

  • huib-jose's Profile Photo
    Sep 21, 2003 at 6:04 AM

    Next "business-trip" I have to come along. It's just great how you combine work and pleasure! Never knew Willemstad was this beautiful. Dank je wel!

  • Nathalie_B's Profile Photo
    Sep 19, 2003 at 1:28 PM

    Great page Paul! Can you check your e-mail please....

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