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Place Category: Feature and Sights & LandmarksPlace Tags: Capital, Centrum, and Shopping

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  • Punda was established in 1634, when the Dutch captured the island from Spain. The original name of Punda was de punt in Dutch. Otrobanda, which was founded in 1707, is the newer section of the city and is considered to be the cultural centre of Willemstad. Its name originated from the Papiamentu otro banda, which means “the other side.

    The historic centre of the city consists of four quarters: the Punda and Otrobanda, which are separated by the Sint Anna Bay, an inlet that leads into the large natural harbour called the Schottegat, as well as the Scharloo and Pietermaai Smal quarters, which are across from each other on the smaller Waaigat harbour. The city centre, with its unique architecture and harbour entry, has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    Punda is verry diverse. Together with old colonial architectural buildings you can find modern shopping facilities. You can taste and see the beautiful colonial influences from earlier days and the modern economic influences of nowadays. It is a perfect combination for a day out.

    When visiting Punda you must take a walk over the Queen Emma Bridge, also called the “Swinging Old Lady” or Pontoon bridge by the inhabitants. It is a 168 meter floating pontoon bridge made of wood. It is the only one in the world of its kind. When you are on the Queen Emma Bridge or on the Otrabanda side, take a look to the Punda side and you will see 18th century houses with Spanish and Dutch colonial influences. A beautiful view to capture on picture.

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  • 1 Review on “Punda”

    1. Mike Post authorPunda
      Overall Rating:
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      Willemstad is a mini Amsterdam with brightly colored buildings and a lot of boat traffic. The floating market and shops are a lot of fun. Try and watch a large ship come through town, when the pontoon bridge swings open.

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