Curacao, Willemstad, queen emmabridge, the waterfront houses of Punda on the Handelskade, facing the Sint Annabaai
Jochem Wijnands / age fotostock
No island getaway is complete without seeing gorgeous scenery you’d never, ever see at home—and Willemstad’s floating bridge delivers! Built in 1888, “Our Swinging Old Lady” is supported by 16 pontoon boats and two motors. When you hear the siren, look to see the entrance gates slam shut and moments later, the bridge sways to accommodate passing ships. (If you don’t feel like waiting for Queen Emma to reopen, you can take a ferry between Willemstad’s Punda and Otrobanda districts instead.) At night, the bridge’s lights cast a shimmering rainbow on the water.
Koningin Emma Bridge
Built in 1888 and named after a Dutch queen, this floating bridge, with its original wooden boards, connects the Punda and Otrabanda neighborhoods of Curaçao’s capital and is supported by a series of pontoon boats. Take a wander across for views of the pastel gabled buildings along the banks. When ships need to pass through the harbor, the “Swinging Old Lady” opens and pedestrians are transported across the bay on ferryboats.
Cross the Swinging Old Lady
Paris has the Eiffel Tower. New York has the Brooklyn Bridge. The Statue of Liberty. The Empire State Building. Beijing has the Great Wall. San Francisco has the Golden Gate. And Willemstad… Well, Willemstad has the Swinging Old Lady, Queen Emma! Not quite a boat. Not quite a bridge. Her 168 meters and 16 pontoons floating over Curaçao’s Saint Anna Bay have inspired thousands and thousands of Google images and 50K+ YouTube videos! Her dreamy opening and closing, connects picturesque-if-psychedelic Punda and Otrobanda for as many as 15,000 woozy pedestrians every day. Presumably the only permanent wooden pontoon bridge in the world, Queen Emma’s welcoming swings grant international cruise and container ships, sophisticated oil tankers, as well as sail boats and wooden boats permission to enter our awesome natural harbor several times a day. Witness the spectacle first-hand from one of the many harbor-side cafes and restaurants. 10 Awesome Things about Queen Emma: http://1000awesomethingsaboutcuracao.com/2013/03/14/745-our-swinging-old-lady-queen-emma/