Beekenburg, fort

In 1703, to protect the coastline east of Fort Amsterdam and Willemstad, construction of fort Beekenburg, built on a rocky headland on the eastern shore of Caracas Bay, commenced, following the completion in the preceding year of the small battery of De Uitkijk (The Lookout) situated a little farther to the south. Beekenburg protected both the bay itself with its various landing places and the narrow tongue of land between Caracas Bay and the Spaanse Water (Spanish Water), along which an enemy who had come ashore further eastwards could approach Willemstad. Partly as the result of a shortage of building materials, the original construction of Beekenburg appears to have taken quite a long time, but once completed, the fort proved to be virtually unassailable. It was not taken during the attack of the French corsair Cassard in 1713, and held out until after the capitulation during the British attacks in 1800 and 1807. Its design consisted of a massive tower with ten gun emplacements, with a lower bastion on the seaward side with another eight cannon.