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Map of Caracas Bay


Map of Caracas Bay

Heneman, Johan Christoph van

Title Leupe: Plan van Caraques Bay, met het fort Beekenburgh.

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. Its design consisted of a massive tower with ten gun emplacements, with a lower bastion on the seaward side with another eight cannon.

This map is a copy of that in the 1737 report of Cornelis Schrijver (VEL664), but going by the general style and the lettering it dates from several decades later, probably around 1775. As in the case of the similarly designed map of the harbour of Willemstad (VEL598), it is most likely to have been made by Johan Christoph Heneman.

North is lower right.

Scale-bar of 700 ‘Treé’, of which 40 equal 90 Amsterdam feet = [approximately 1 : 3,950].

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)