& other Bridge Members

The ‘Swinging Old Lady’, as she is so dearly called, is the Queen Emma Bridge, a historical floating bridge that connects pedestrians crossing from Punda to Otrobanda, the two sides of historic Willemstad. The Queen Emma Bridge was originally built in 1888 by American Consul General, Leonard Burlington Smith and sits on 16 floating pontoons. The bridge swings open to allow ships to enter our sheltered port in the Anna Bay. When the bridge is open, pedestrians can cross taking the free ferry.

Towering over her in the distance stands the Queen Juliana Bridge, a stationary bridge that is one of the tallest bridges in the world. Her construction was completed in 1974 and she stands approx. 185 feet above the sea level of the harbor. As cars drive over the bridge, the panoramic view from the top features the entire expanse of Willemstad, including all of Punda, Otrobanda and Scharloo on one side, and the Anna Bay with the harbor, drydock and refinery on the other side. 

The Queen Wilhelmina Bridge connects the commercial area of Punda with the up-and-coming district of Scharloo. Originally it was a residential area featuring many historical homes. Many of these beautiful gems have been restored, converted to office buildings, boutique hotels and restaurants.

The L.B. Smith Bridge is a small pedestrian drawbridge that connects Punda and Scharloo by the floating market. This bridge was built in 2007, and named after the architect of the Queen Emma Bridge. While not a member of the Dutch Royal Family, L.B. Smith from the U.S. Consul General is definitely a treasured ‘royal’ hero on the island.

The newest edition to the ‘royal family’ is the Princess Amalia Bridge that was completed in 2016. This bridge serves to further connect pedestrians from the Waaigat and Scharloo areas to Punda. The Curaçao Port Authority is responsible for the maintenance and operations of the entire family of bridges and ensures that they remain iconic landmarks in Willemstad.

With all the beautiful bridges in Willemstad, unique in their own right, it’s definitely worthwhile taking a stroll to visit our ‘Royal Family’. As the Queen Emma Bridge opens, sit back for a moment to watch the towering cruise ships, tankers and cargo ships enter the deep water harbor, framed by the backdrop of the picturesque historical waterfront with all its bright colors and lively shops and restaurants. And then watch the ships venture further under the towering Queen Juliana Bridge into the protected port, it makes for a breathtaking experience and boundless photo opportunities!