Queen Emma Bridge
Kon. Emmabrug, Willemstad, Curaçao
Photo by John Newton
Queen Emma BridgeWhile Otrobanda, roughly "the other side," was settled in the 18th century, a bridge didn't connect it to Punda, across Saint Anna Bay, until 1888. When the Queen Emma Bridge opened, it charged both vehicles and pedestrians a toll, though anyone who wasn't wearing shoes was exempt. Today it is limited to pedestrians only (vehicles use the Queen Juliana Bridge to cross between the two sides of the city), and it is free for everyone.
At any time of the day or evening, it's a pleasant place for a stroll with breezes off the water and views of Willemstad's candy-colored waterfront buildings, either glowing in the sun or illuminated at night. This is a pontoon or floating bridge, and repeatedly during the day it swings to lie flat along the Otrobanda side so ships can pass in and out of St. Anna Bay. When it's open to ships, and thus closed to pedestrians, ferries shuttle passengers between Punda and Otrobanda.