One thing that always stays with me when I think about the many cities and countries I’ve visited is the color or colors of that area. Sometimes it’s just one color, or a color pallette, and sometimes it’s lots. Sometimes it’s just a certain color feeling (ie, Iceland feels blue to me, even though it is filled with many other colors, and actually is more green than blue in a literal sense), and sometimes it’s literal colors that fill that city or country.
Willemstad, Curacao is not just one color or a color “feeling.” It’s actually a whole bunch of literal colors. BRIGHT colors. In fact, Willemstad is featured in a Travel and Leisure article documenting the world’s most colorful cities (side note, I’ve been to 3 of the 15 listed cities, which is pretty cool), and the story behind it’s color is pretty neat:
“Legend has it that in the 1800s, when the Dutch ruled Curaçao, the then-governor attributed the migraines that afflicted him to the powerful Caribbean sun reflecting off the colony’s stark walls. The result? An official decree that commanded citizens to paint the structures anything but white. Today, this World Heritage site owes its distinctive pastel shades to one man’s maladies.”
I’ve heard this story elsewhere, except in the version I heard there was also the mention that the governor owned the only paint company in town, which adds a neat little twist to the story. Here are some memorable photos of colorful Curacao.
This is the iconic view from Willemstad…
…so much so that it’s on the island’s license plates! (Note: this is not anyone’s actual plat, it’s been doctored to show different characters).
This walking bridge moves over to the side for ships to pass through, pretty cool to see.
Anyone ever been to Curacao?