Fodor's Expert Review Queen Emma Bridge

Willemstad Bridge/Tunnel Fodor's Choice

Affectionately called the "Swinging Old Lady" by locals, this bridge connects the two sides of Willemstad—Punda and Otrobanda—across the Santa Anna Bay. The bridge swings open at least 30 times a day to allow passage of ships to and from the sea. The original bridge, built in 1888, was the brainchild of the American consul Leonard Burlington Smith, who made a mint off the tolls he charged for using it: 2¢ per person for those wearing shoes, free to those crossing barefoot. But though that toll distinction was meant to help the poor, the rich often saved money by crossing barefoot, and the poor would often borrow shoes to cross because they were too proud to admit they could not afford the toll! Today it's free to everyone. The bridge was dismantled and completely repaired and restored in 2005 and also restored further in 2015.

Bridge/Tunnel Historic District/Site Fodor's Choice

Quick Facts

Willemstad, n/a Curaçao  Curaçao

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