Oranjestad, Aruba

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This article is about the capital of Aruba. For Oranjestad, the capital town of Sint Eustatius, see Oranjestad, Sint Eustatius.
Oranjestad
Centre of Oranjestad
Centre of Oranjestad
Oranjestad is located in Aruba
Oranjestad
Oranjestad
Oranjestad
Coordinates: 12°31′08″N 70°02′13″W / 12.519°N 70.037°W / 12.519; -70.037Coordinates: 12°31′08″N 70°02′13″W / 12.519°N 70.037°W / 12.519; -70.037
State  Kingdom of the Netherlands
Country  Aruba
Established 1796
Elevation 4 m (13 ft)
Population (2010)
 • Total 29,998

Oranjestad (Dutch, literally "Orange Town") is the capital and largest city of Aruba. Oranjestad is located on the southern coast near the western end of the island country. In the local language, Papiamento, Oranjestad is often referred to simply as "Playa". In 2010 the population of the capital was estimated at just under 30,000.[1]

History[edit]

The town was built around Fort Zoutman shortly after it was built in 1796 . Initially the town had no official name, being known only as the town on the Bay of Horses (Paardenbaai in Dutch), a place from which native-bred[citation needed] horses were raised and exported to neighboring Curaçao. The town has ever since been the capital city of the island.

Oranjestad.jpg

The city is named after the first King Willem van Oranje-Nassau (William of Orange-Nassau) - the first heir to the Dutch House of Orange. The name was conferred on the city in the 1820s when interest in Aruba increased due to the discovery of (alluvial) gold deposits.

Air Aruba once had its headquarters in Oranjestad.[2] Air Aruba suspended its operations on October 23, 2000.[3]

Until it closed in March 2014 Tiara Air had its head office in Oranjestad.[4]

Geography & Climate[edit]

Small portions of the city are formed from a series of man-made expansions of land into the sea. Present-day Renaissance Marketplace (formerly Seaport Marketplace), as well as the adjacent Queen Wilhelmina Park, lies within part of this expansion.

Climate data for Oranjestad, Aruba (1981-2010, extremes 1951-2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 32.5
(90.5)
33.0
(91.4)
33.9
(93)
34.4
(93.9)
34.9
(94.8)
35.2
(95.4)
35.3
(95.5)
36.1
(97)
36.5
(97.7)
35.4
(95.7)
35.0
(95)
34.8
(94.6)
36.5
(97.7)
Average high °C (°F) 30.0
(86)
30.4
(86.7)
30.9
(87.6)
31.5
(88.7)
32.0
(89.6)
32.2
(90)
32.0
(89.6)
32.6
(90.7)
32.7
(90.9)
32.1
(89.8)
31.3
(88.3)
30.4
(86.7)
31.5
(88.7)
Daily mean °C (°F) 26.7
(80.1)
26.8
(80.2)
27.2
(81)
27.9
(82.2)
28.5
(83.3)
28.7
(83.7)
28.6
(83.5)
29.1
(84.4)
29.2
(84.6)
28.7
(83.7)
28.1
(82.6)
27.2
(81)
28.1
(82.6)
Average low °C (°F) 24.5
(76.1)
24.7
(76.5)
25.0
(77)
25.8
(78.4)
26.5
(79.7)
26.7
(80.1)
26.4
(79.5)
26.8
(80.2)
26.9
(80.4)
26.4
(79.5)
25.8
(78.4)
25.0
(77)
25.9
(78.6)
Record low °C (°F) 21.3
(70.3)
20.6
(69.1)
21.4
(70.5)
21.5
(70.7)
21.8
(71.2)
22.7
(72.9)
21.2
(70.2)
21.3
(70.3)
22.1
(71.8)
21.9
(71.4)
22.0
(71.6)
20.5
(68.9)
20.5
(68.9)
Precipitation mm (inches) 39.3
(1.547)
20.6
(0.811)
8.7
(0.343)
11.6
(0.457)
16.3
(0.642)
18.7
(0.736)
31.7
(1.248)
25.8
(1.016)
45.5
(1.791)
77.8
(3.063)
94.0
(3.701)
81.8
(3.22)
471.8
(18.575)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 8.4 5.0 1.8 1.9 2.2 2.8 4.9 4.3 3.9 7.4 10.6 11.4 64.6
 % humidity 77.5 76.1 75.7 77.1 77.9 77.4 77.8 76.2 76.8 78.6 79.1 78.4 77.4
Source: DEPARTAMENTO METEOROLOGICO ARUBA,[5] (extremes)[6]

Culture[edit]

The New Protestant Church

There is some Dutch Colonial architecture. Due to increased government interest in maintaining the island's cultural heritage, a number of old buildings and houses in the center of town have been transformed into colorfully restored landmarks, such as the lime-colored Civil Registry on Wilhelminastraat.

Economy[edit]

Tourism[edit]

Several modern recreations have emerged, including the outdoor shopping mall at Royal Plaza, and a few scattered buildings along Main Street and on the Main Square.

Fort Zoutman is one of the town's attractions, others being the tax-free harbour and the Willem III Tower, located near the fort.

Renaissance Island[edit]

Renaissance Island is a 40 acres (16 ha) artificial island off the coast near Oranjestad. It is privately owned and has the only private beaches on Aruba.[7] There are two beaches: Iguana Beach and Flamingo Beach. A Beechcraft 18 and a Convair 400 were both deliberately sunk about 50 yards (46 m) ofshore to create a diving site.[8] Flamingoes can be seen on the island.[9]


Transport[edit]

Oranjestad is served by the Queen Beatrix International Airport, 2.5 kilometers from the city center.

Caya G. F. Betico Croes, also called Main Street, is Aruba's main shopping street in Oranjestad, however in the past few years shoppers have increasingly turned to Lloyd G. Smith Boulevard, the main thoroughfare in the city. This is in part because the boulevard is closer to the cruise ship terminal and harbour area.

The MV Celebrity Mercury docked in Oranjestad.

Oranjestad houses the largest port on the island capable of docking up to five large vessels. In 2003, over 200 container ships called at the Oranjestad port. A smaller port for shorter cargo vessels is at Barcadera, 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) to the east. Plans have been proposed to increase loading capacity at Oranjestad, and for the construction of a marina to make up for inadequate docking space available for yachts and fishing boats.

Hospital in Oranjestad.

Traffic in the center of town is a growing issue for island commuters. The government is under pressure[citation needed] to make improvements to the periphery, which runs around the city. In late 2006 planning began for the installment of a roundabout, along the main boulevard and next to the Free Zone, at one of the island's most troublesome intersections.[citation needed] The plans were completed in 2008. In the meantime, several businesses and government departments have relocated their offices outside of the city centre, spurring a boom in construction and modernisation.[citation needed]

Education[edit]

Oranjestad is home to the Universiteit van Aruba, which offers programs in law and economics, and to the island's largest secondary school (Colegio Arubano), both modeled on the Dutch system. Many students enroll into universities in the Netherlands for graduate and postgraduate degrees.

Oranjestad is also the location of Xavier University School of Medicine, Aruba, a U.S. based curriculum medical school. The school offers a 2-year pre-medicine and 4-year medical program leading to an M.D. degree (Doctor of Medicine). All classes are taught in English.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://population-of.com/en/Aruba/00/Oranjestad/
  2. ^ World Airline Directory. Flight International. March 17–23, 1999. "46.
  3. ^ Overview. Air Aruba. March 2, 2001. Retrieved on October 6, 2009.
  4. ^ "Contact." Tiara Air. March 2, 2009. Retrieved on March 23, 2014. "Sabana Blanco 70E, Suite 11 Oranjestad Aruba "
  5. ^ "Summary Climatological Normals 1981-2010". Departamento Meteorologico Aruba. Retrieved 15 October 2012. 
  6. ^ "Climate Data Aruba". Departamento Meteorologico Aruba. Retrieved 15 October 2012. 
  7. ^ "Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino". Retrieved 2014-08-20. 
  8. ^ Huber, Joyce (2011). Best Dives of Aruba, Bonaire & Curacao. Hunter Publishing, Inc,. ISBN 9781588437495. 
  9. ^ Suri, Charu. "Where to see Flamingos in Aruba". Retrieved 2014-08-20. 

External links[edit]