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Scharloo Punda Willemstad

Scharloo is besides Punda, Otrobanda, Pietermaai one of the four districts that divide the capital Willemstad.  Schaarloo, known for its grand baroque houses which used to be inhabited by the Jewish community in Curaçao are nowadays  office buildings, museums and hotels.

Schaarloo was once property of the Dutch West India Company after they conquered Curaçao in 1634 from the Spanish, the Dutch West India Company gave parts of the land as plantation to Dutch farmers. However because of the hard soil that didn’t went well, so the owners either went to the army or abroad.  This didn’t stop Schaarloo from growing, it became a place of trade and it was during this time the Jewish people which were part of the trading elite of Punda brought sophistication to this district as they built villas in Spanish-style architecture with Greek pillars, tall stairs and patios. At the beginning of the twentieth century this was the richest area of downtown Willemstad and was even accessible by tram. Until 1960s with the arrival of the Dutch company Shell oil refinery and their regulations, these houses became too expensive for the Jewish people to maintain.  

The murals on these buildings are done by the amazing and talented Curaçaon artist: Francis Sling