Fort Sint Michiel

Fort Sint Michiel lies in the Boka Sami neighborhood of the sea side village of St. Michiel, west of the city of Willemstad, on the Caribbean island of Curaçao in the Dutch Antilles.

Fort Sint Michiel was probably built in 1701. It was one of 2 batteries guarding the bay. The other was situated on the northern side of the entrance to the bay.

In February 1713 the French buccaneer Jacques Cassard anchored his ships in the St. Kruis Bay and set his men ashore. Dutch troops were quickly sent to drive them back but, being unsuccessful, they retreated to Willemstad. During their retreat they immobilized the cannons at Fort Sint Michiel. Shortly afterwards Cassard was paid a ransom and left.

In the mid 18th century Fort Sint Michiel fell into neglect. At the end of that century however its cannons more than once provided shelter for Dutch and American ships on the run for pirates.

In 1800 the armament of these two batteries consisted of 12 cannons of which 3 were unmounted. The ones ready for action were 5 eight-pounders, 2 twelve-pounders and 2 eighteen-pounders. In those days the military command of the island thought Fort Sint Michiel of more importance than Fort Piscadera and constructed a small fort on the hilltop behind Fort Sint Michiel called Fort op den Berg. This fort was equipped with 2 eight-pounders, 2 twelve-pounders and 2 eighteen-pounders.

On August 29th 1800 a strong English warship, hunting a French privateer, had to turn back to sea after it suffered considerable damage from shots fired from Fort Sint Michiel. A few days later, on September 4th, the fort was taken by French troops only to be abandoned by them on September 23rd. It was then occupied by Dutch troops again until the island was transferred to the English on October 15th.

In 1802, after the Treaty of Amiens, the island was returned to the Dutch. Fort Sint Michiel was then repaired and manned with a garrison. In 1807 however the English again took over the island. In 1816, after the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1814 the English left for the last time. After that the military significance of Fort Sint Michiel ended.

If the above mentioned northern battery and Fort op den Berg still exist, I don't know. I don't think so because I didn't see any trace of them when I visited Fort Sint Michiel, they don't show up on any maps and they are never mentioned in more recent publications.

Fort Sint Michiel is freely accessible. When I visited part of the fort walls were painted orange for a political gathering for the coming elections. The same part seems also to be used as a very simple bar by the locals.


Gallery

View the embedded image gallery online at:
http://www.castles.nl/fort-sint-michiel#sigFreeId19181f5b6d

Fort Sint Michiel

Fort Sint Michiel lies in the Boka Sami neighborhood of the sea side village of St. Michiel, west of the city of Willemstad, on the Caribbean island of Curaçao in the Dutch Antilles.

Fort Sint Michiel was probably built in 1701. It was one of 2 batteries guarding the bay. The other was situated on the northern side of the entrance to the bay.

In February 1713 the French buccaneer Jacques Cassard anchored his ships in the St. Kruis Bay and set his men ashore. Dutch troops were quickly sent to drive them back but, being unsuccessful, they retreated to Willemstad. During their retreat they immobilized the cannons at Fort Sint Michiel. Shortly afterwards Cassard was paid a ransom and left.

In the mid 18th century Fort Sint Michiel fell into neglect. At the end of that century however its cannons more than once provided shelter for Dutch and American ships on the run for pirates.

In 1800 the armament of these two batteries consisted of 12 cannons of which 3 were unmounted. The ones ready for action were 5 eight-pounders, 2 twelve-pounders and 2 eighteen-pounders. In those days the military command of the island thought Fort Sint Michiel of more importance than Fort Piscadera and constructed a small fort on the hilltop behind Fort Sint Michiel called Fort op den Berg. This fort was equipped with 2 eight-pounders, 2 twelve-pounders and 2 eighteen-pounders.

On August 29th 1800 a strong English warship, hunting a French privateer, had to turn back to sea after it suffered considerable damage from shots fired from Fort Sint Michiel. A few days later, on September 4th, the fort was taken by French troops only to be abandoned by them on September 23rd. It was then occupied by Dutch troops again until the island was transferred to the English on October 15th.

In 1802, after the Treaty of Amiens, the island was returned to the Dutch. Fort Sint Michiel was then repaired and manned with a garrison. In 1807 however the English again took over the island. In 1816, after the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1814 the English left for the last time. After that the military significance of Fort Sint Michiel ended.

If the above mentioned northern battery and Fort op den Berg still exist, I don't know. I don't think so because I didn't see any trace of them when I visited Fort Sint Michiel, they don't show up on any maps and they are never mentioned in more recent publications.

Fort Sint Michiel is freely accessible. When I visited part of the fort walls were painted orange for a political gathering for the coming elections. The same part seems also to be used as a very simple bar by the locals.


Gallery

View the embedded image gallery online at:
http://www.castles.nl/fort-sint-michiel#sigFreeId19181f5b6d