WILLEMSTAD, Curaçao — One of the draws of Curaçao is the island’s deep history. The island is home to many museums, and the Willemstad city center has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The downtown area is also home to several statues of famous Curaçao residents who played in a pivotal role in the country’s history.
Here is a look at a few of the statues on display in the heart of Willemstad.
Pedro Luis Brión studied in Holland and fought against the British and the Spanish in the Caribbean. The Curaçao native participated in the Venezuelan War of Independence, rising to the rank of admiral in the navies of Venezuela and the old Republic of Colombia. He died of tuberculosis in 1821.
Dr. Moises Frumencio Da Costa Gomez
Dr. Moises Frumencio da Costa Gomez served as the president of the first Governing Council (Regeringsraad) of the Netherlands Antilles. As such, he is often referred to as the first Prime Minister.
Dr. Efraïn Jonckheer
Dr. Efraïn Jonckheer served as the prime minister of the Netherlands Antilles starting in 1954 when he succeeded Moises Frumencio da Costa Gomez as head of government. As such, he became the first official prime minister of the Netherlands Antilles, a position he held until 1968.
Carlos Manuel Piar
Manuel Carlos María Francisco Piar Gómez was the general-in-chief of the army fighting Spain during the Venezuelan War of Independence. In 1817, Simón Bolívar ordered Piar to be arrested and tried for desertion, insubordination and conspiring against the government.
Piar was executed in October 1817. Bolívar, who decided not to witness the execution. After hearing the shots, he said with tears, “I have spilled my blood” (“He derramado mi sangre” in Spanish).
Amado E.J. Römer
Amado Emilio José (E.J.) Römer was a priest and social fighter who established credit unions and trade unions. Römer died in 2010, and the statue was erected on May 1, 2012.