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Pietermaai District

Pietermaai District

Boutique Hotel ‘t Klooster is part of the vibrant Pietermaai District with fantastic facilities for young and old, located just steps away from the centre of Willemstad!


Colourful Pietermaai District

Pietermaai District attracts businessmen, artists, students and travellers. It is becoming known as the ‘SoHo’ of Curaçao, with its beautiful architecture and rich history.

In Pietermaai District is full of Boutique hotels, small shops, cozy cafés, beachclubs and top-rated restaurants, resulting in a vibrant atmosphere during the evenings as well as during daytime. Because everything is located close together, it is easy to walk from one place to another. It’s an area full of mystery, magic and fun!


History of Pietermaai District
The area derives its name from captain Pieter de Meij. In 1674 he came from Brazil to settle on Curaçao. He owned a plantation close to the current Julianaplein, called “Zeelucht” (seabreeze).
In the 19th century it was found that the old-fashioned fortifications could no longer offer protection against enemy attacks, which is why the city walls were demolished in the second half of that century. The debris of these demolished walls was used to mute part of the ‘Waaigat’ and new construction sites were created to the north and east of the city, amongst which the current popular ‘Nieuwestraat’ in the Pietermaai District.

A few years ago the name of part of the Pietermaaiweg (Pietermaairoad) was changed into Kaya Wilson Godett, in memory of the man who has played a significant role in the events around May 30th 1969. Godett also was a founding member of the political party ‘Frente Obrero I Liberashon 30 di mei’. However, names ‘Pietermaai’ and ‘Pietermaaiweg’ have remained in use amongst the population.

Halfway during the 19th century Pietermaai became a hub for ideas, business and culture. Theatres and small craft businesses were added to the attractive power of the area and still serve as an inspiration for the vibrant atmosphere that the district is well-known for nowadays. In the late 20th century, the area was overrun by drug peddlers and the remains of that period are still visible in a few buildings. Today, most of the dilapidated buildings have been restored and modern buildings occupy previously vacant lots.


Location
Pietermaai District is located in Willemstad, adjacent to Punda and is listed as a World Heritage Site since 1997, because of its unique cultural value.

Pietermaai used to be a narrow piece of land between the sea and the bay ‘Waaigat’. Homes were built on both ends of this narrow piece of land with a lot of space in between. As part of the Waaigat was muted as a result of demolishing the city walls, people started building houses between Pietermaai and Punda. Nowadays some of the mansions in Pietermaai have been restored and serve as offices; others are still dilapidated.

Nowadays the district is still being developed and buildings are being restored. But in the meantime it has become a safe and vibrant neighbourhood, with a lot of social control during any time of the day and night. With a combination of locals, businessmen, students and travellers there is a true mix of ages and cultures, giving the district its unique atmosphere.

Do you wish to read more about Pietermaai District, have a look in the Pietermaai Pocket Guide or on the facebookpage of Pietermaai District for the latest news and to-do’s in the neighbourhood!