Caracasbay hike - March 23, 2014

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Part of a map from 1836 of the island CuraçaoDuring the hike over the Caracasbay peninsula on March 23, 2014 the question was asked by one of the participants if this area was always a peninsula or if it was connected to the mainland when the road was constructed. So I went looking for an answer on older maps.
I often project the walked trail on the recent topographical map made by Kadaster in 1993. When that map was made the large Shell oil storage tanks were still in this area and the current road was already there. An older map is the first topographical map of the island Curaçao, created by Werbata in the beginning of the 20th century. Also on that map there was a connection between the mainland and the area around Fort Beekenburg.

There are differences in the sense that the connection was smaller closest to the peninsula and that part of our trail of this morning would have gone through water in the beginning of the 20th century. Also then there was already a road. An even older map of the island Curaçao is made by the widow Gerard Hulst van Keulen. That map dates from 1836. Also on that map the peninsula is connected by a small tongue of land to the main part of Curaçao. So my conclusion would be that this connection was not created by putting a dam between the current Spanish Water and the Caracasbay but that this connection was formed naturally.

This morning's group was also curious about the second square opening in the floor of the upper part of the Castle. As far as I know this is the entry into the water chamber inside the fort but I never went into it. So this looked like the right moment to go inside for the first time. I left my backpack on the top floor and descended into the square opening. The ladder starts quite a distance down so I had to lower myself quite a bit without support for my feet. Then I had to test each rung of the ladder for strength. Everything went fine and soon I stood on the floor of a small corridor. Without a light I couldn't see where the corridor led to so I made a picture. The corridor appeared to make a 90 degree turn to the left. There it ends in a closed chamber with a floor deeper than the corridor. So it looks that this indeed is the water chamber inside the fort. This is supported by the fact that there is an overflow in the wall of the chamber.

Below are pictures from the hike that led to this question and consequently to this article.