Oranjestad, Sint Eustatius

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Oranjestad
Town
Beach of Lower Town.
Beach of Lower Town.
Location on the island of Sint Eustatius
Location on the island of Sint Eustatius
Coordinates: 17°29′N 62°59′W / 17.483°N 62.983°W / 17.483; -62.983Coordinates: 17°29′N 62°59′W / 17.483°N 62.983°W / 17.483; -62.983
Country Netherlands
Public body Sint Eustatius
Time zone AST (UTC-4)
Climate Aw
Oranjestad Lighthouse
Lower Town Sint Eustatius.jpg
Location Oranjestad
Sint Eustatius
Coordinates 17°29′01.7″N 62°59′13.1″W / 17.483806°N 62.986972°W / 17.483806; -62.986972
Year first constructed 1893 (first)
Foundation concrete base
Construction metal skeletal tower
Tower shape square pyramidal skeletal tower with balcony and light
Height 20 metres (66 ft)
Focal height 40 metres (130 ft)
Light source solar power
Range 17 nautical miles (31 km; 20 mi)
Characteristic Fl (3) W 15s.
Admiralty number J5668.5
NGA number 14742[1][2]

Oranjestad (Dutch pronunciation: [oːˈrɑɲəˌstɑt]; English: Orange[3] Town) is a small town of approximately 1,000 inhabitants; it is the capital of the island of Sint Eustatius in the Caribbean Netherlands.

Geography[edit]

Oranjestad is a historic harbour town which is divided into two main sections. Lower Town is a strip of buildings just above sea level along the waterfront, which borders on the island’s safest beach. Lower Town includes dive shops, numerous colonial-era ruins, and the harbour. Upper Town has a restored historic core, and is also the island’s main commercial and residential centre.

History[edit]

Historical sites[edit]

The restored 'Gezaghebber House' on Kerkstraat

The main historical site in Oranjestad is Fort Oranje, a well-maintained, 17th-century fort in the direct centre of the town, overlooking the waterfront. This cliffside fort has cannons, intact bastions and a courtyard. Nearby is a museum, the ruins of one of the oldest synagogues in the Western Hemisphere, and a Jewish cemetery.

The town's historical features also include a Dutch Reformed church built in 1755, which is partly in ruins but still accessible (its tower can be climbed for long-distance views), various restored 18th-century merchants’ residences - including the oldest one, the Gezaghebber House (former Lieutenant Governor’s residence) on Kerkstraat - and restored wooden Caribbean-style houses. Snorkeling in Oranje Bay is also interesting because of the parts of 18th century buildings on the bay side that were swept into the sea.

Facilities[edit]

Oranjestad itself contains grocery stores, restaurants, bars, a library, schools, a clinic and the administrative offices of the government. Oranjestad is a major shopping destination for people from neighbouring Saint Kitts, as many goods, especially imported foodstuffs, are cheaper.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]