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Project plan for the extension of fort Amsterdam


Project plan for the extension of fort Amsterdam

Anoniem / Anonymous

Title Leupe: Plan van de Willemstad en het fort Amsterdam op het Eyland Curaçao, met en benevens de nieuwe lage batterij enz.

In 1745 a new plan for the fortification and expansion of Willemstad was drawn up by Director Faesch and a prominent resident, Willem Meijer, a major in the civil militia. This plan required that the wall be taken much farther to the east. The larger concept was one of Meijer’s ideas, who suggested that he would also undertake the building work, on the condition that the land in the new extension be granted to him as his private property and he would be allowed to build on it and sell it. The first general project map was sent to the Republic in June 1746 by ‘the Engineers’.

This map belongs to a batch of maps sent two years later to provide more details. Here the different sections within the fortress are elaborated, as can be derived from the index. This anonymous map also shows the planned expansion of Willemstad on the eastern side, which is only indicated by a dotted line. The chief point of interest is the newly completed 'Nieuwe Lage Batterij' (New Low Battery, E) on the sea front south of the fort, built on a private initiative, probably to a design by the military engineer Jacob Ribbius who had also been sent to Curaçao in 1743. The New Low Battery was situated on the site of a redoubt which had been constructed when the island was captured in 1634 and was destroyed by a hurricane in 1681. To replace it, in 1696-1701 the Water Fort or Lage batterij (Low Battery, C on the map) was constructed below the southwest bastion of Fort Amsterdam; the latter was known as the Nieuwe Batterij (New Battery). To afford the entrance to Sint Anna Bay greater protection, the more projecting New Low Battery or New Water Fort was added in 1748, after which the fortification of 1691 was generally referred to as the Old Low Battery or Old Water Fort. Both have now completely disappeared.

North is up.

Scale-bar of 30 Rhineland Rods = [approximately 1 : 980].

Please contact Nationaal Archief for reuse and copyrights.

Sources and literature

Heijer, H. den, Grote Atlas van de West-Indische Compagnie = Comprehensive Atlas of the Dutch West India Company, II, de nieuwe WIC 1674-1791 = the new WIC 1674-1791 (2012)