As I mention in previous posts my trip to Curaçao was definitely impromptu, however, the beauty of social media is that as soon as I posted that I was on the island, I got a flood of recommendations about places I should check out and things I should do. One of those things was visiting the Kura Hulanda slave museum. Located on the Sonesta Kura Hulanda Village & Spa property the site is definitely a can’t miss while you’re in Willemstad, whether you’re staying at the hotel or not.
The museum and property are apart of project Kurá Hulanda, an initiative of Dutch businessman Jacob Gelt Dekker centering on a major restoration of this historic district into 17th and 18th century Dutch architecture. It’s winding cobblestone pathways, courtyards and garden pools were a welcome respite from the Willemstad heat. The grounds are beautifully maintained and you feel worlds away from Willemstad downtown. To me, the standout gem about this property is the Kurá Hulanda museum. World renown, I wasn’t sure to expect when I stepped into the modest building that serves as the main entrance to the collection of buildings that was the area of the museum, including the City Gate of Djennée. As per the museum’s website, “Museum Kurá Hulanda is an anthropological museum that focuses on the predominant cultures of Curacao. It offers a world-class chronicle of the Origin of Man, the African slave trade, West African Empires, Pre-Colombian gold, Mesopotamian relics and Antillean art.”
For just $10 USD you can gain access to all of this.
While in awe of the City Gate of Djennée from the Mali Empire, I had conflicting feelings about the kind of colonialism it presents. Yes, it’s being displayed for educational purpose but a Dutch man having the power to take a whole city gate from a once powerful African Empire is very much in line with the themes presented by the museum. You learn a lot about Caribbean culture through the lens of slavery as well as the amalgamation of cultures that went to make Curaçao. Definitely check it out and see my pictures from below as well as my video exploring the property!