Museums

While in Punda, pass by the beautiful Mikvй Israel Emmanuel Synagogue, it is the oldest synagogue in continuous operation in the Western Hemisphere. Its museum displays an impressive collection of religious artifacts from the Sephardic congregation’s history, such as Torah scrolls and Hanukkah lamps, as well as antique household items.

Another museum worth visiting is The Curacao Museum. It is located in a historic building dating back to 1853 on the Otrobanda side. This museum is Curacao’s largest and it showcases works by traditional as well as contemporary local and foreign artists. It also displays a permanent collection of antique furniture, including some exquisite mahogany pieces from the 18th and 19th centuries. Antique maps of Curacao, Caribbean and Indian art are also on display.

Curaзao’s newest museum, the Maritime Museum, is located in a mansion built in 1729 on the Waaigat inlet. Video presentations and multimedia displays are used throughout the museum to bring Curaзao’s maritime history to life. Exhibits include antique miniatures, 17th Century ship models, and maps –some dating from the 1500′s. Other highlights include representations of Spanish rule, the conquest of Curaзao by the Dutch and formation of the Dutch West India Company and the evolution of Willemstad as a naval base and maritime trading center.

The museum Kura Hulanda, situated at the city-center harbor of Willemstad, impressively exhibits the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade in its totality, from slave capture in Africa through the Middle Passage and relocation in the New World. Other notable museums are the Postal Museum, the Numismatic Museum and the Telemuseum.