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Map of Caracas Bay


Map of Caracas Bay

Schrijver, Carel Gustaaf / Esdré, Godfried Carel

Title Leupe: Plan van het fort Bekenburg, Caraques Bay en de mond van het Binnenwater St. Barbara.

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 general map of Caracas Bay and part of the ‘Inner Water of St. Barbara’ (het Spaanse Water), was sent to the board of directors in Amsterdam by ‘the Engineers’ Carel Schrijver and Esdré in 1742. This detailed site map, which includes a much greater number of soundings than on the 1737 map of Cornelis Schrijver, was drawn in connection with the need to repair and strengthen Fort Beekenburg, which had fallen into disrepair in the meantime.

Taken from: : Br. en pap. Curaçao kamer Amsterdam kohier nr. 33 fol. 374.

There are three copies of this map: VEL645A-C.

North is upper left.

Scale-bar of 200 Rhineland Rods = [approximately 1 : 3,570].

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)