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Riffort - Willemstad, Curacao
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Raven
N 12° 06.309 W 068° 56.261
19P E 506781 N 1338181
Quick Description: Riffort is an old Dutch fort located on the outskirts of the historic Otrobanda district of Willemstad, the capital of Curacao. Originally built in 1828, it now houses a variety of restaurants and terraces as well as a shopping mall for tourists.
Location: Curaçao
Date Posted: 4/2/2013 12:20:25 PM
Waymark Code: WMGQX5
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member briansnat
Views: 11

Long Description:
Per a website hosted by someone identifying himself only as "Marko": (visit link)

The Riffort lies at the entrance of the St. Anna Bay in the western Otrabanda district of Willemstad, on the Caribbean island of Curacao. Its name is sometimes also spelled as Rif Fort, and translates to 'Reef Fort'.

By the early 19th century, most of the fortifications on Curacao were in a state of neglect. A proposal to restore them caught the interest of King William I of the Netherlands, who in 1824 appointed Luitenant-General Krayenhoff to make a restoration plan for several of the fortifications in question.

Under the direction of Krayenhoff, two new forts were built between 1827 and 1829. The first one (called 'Waterfort') was placed on the eastern shore of the St. Anna Bay which cuts through the city, right on top on an old 1634 fortification meant to protect the outer banks of the city's Punda district. The Riffort itself was brand new, constructed on the opposite shore of the Bay by the outer banks of the Otrobanda district. Its location was strategically chosen to oversee the entrance of the bay from its western wall, the coast from its southern wall, and the former Rif Water from its eastern wall.

Once completed, the Riffort was completely bombproof and armed with 56 cannons, barracks, a powder magazine and a water tank. In front of the fort stood a small dome where a chain was kept which could be dragged all the way to the Waterfort on the opposite side of the bay, thereby sealing off the entrance to the harbor.

The fort lost its military purpose in the first part of the 20th century, at which point the grounds of the fort were used by a water company. During WWII, however, the fort was re-armed with two 37mm machine guns to protect the city from potential naval attacks. After the war, however, the fort once again lost its military importance and housed both government institutions and a police station.

The fort is nowadays used as a freely accessible tourist attraction and shopping mall, appropriately known as the Rif fort: see (visit link) . Its grounds house a couple of restaurants, a few bars, and several shops within the old fort's inner walls.
The year the "Fort" was constructed or started.: 1827

Name of "Country" or "Nation" that constructed this "Fort": The Netherlands

Was this "Fort" involved in any armed conflicts?: Yes it was

What was the primary purpose of this "Historic Fort"?: Used for defence of a border or land claim.

Current condition: Partially Rebuilt / Reused

This site is administered by ----: Government of Curacao / Commercial Real Estate Developers

If admission is charged -: 0.00 (listed in local currency)

Open to the public?: Open or unrestricted access.

Official or advertised web-page: [Web Link]

Link to web-site that best describes this "Historic Fort": [Web Link]

Link if this "Fort" is registered on your Countries/ State "Registry of Historical Sites or Buildi: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
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    Recent Visits/Logs:
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    katinka3 visited Riffort - Willemstad, Curacao 3/14/2015 katinka3 visited it
    merlot visited Riffort - Willemstad, Curacao 1/8/2015 merlot visited it
    MrPirateCat visited Riffort - Willemstad, Curacao 11/4/2014 MrPirateCat visited it
    Raven visited Riffort - Willemstad, Curacao 1/1/2013 Raven visited it

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