Museum Kura Hulanda, Willemstad, Curaçao
Tel: 599 9 434 7765
Concierge.com's insider take:
There isn't anything in the Caribbean like this must-see museum, which exhibits the world-class collection of African art and ancient artifacts of founder Jacob Gelt Dekker (owner of the adjoining Hotel Kura Hulanda). Built on the site of a former slave pen, the institution recounts the sordid history of human bondage, especially the transatlantic slave trade that played a crucial role in colonizing and developing the New World. Curaçao supplied slaves to the Spanish empire for centuries, and the lucrative, gruesome enterprise was once the largest employer in the Dutch colonial empire. The story is told through exhibits with old shackles and fetters, vintage maps and prints, the exquisite metalwork and pottery of enslaved African tribes, and even the antique doors of a Timbuktu mosque. There are also displays of pre-Colombian goldwork, the syncretic religions of Santeria and voodoo, and the Maroon (runaway slaves) culture of Suriname, a former Dutch colony on the South American mainland. On Wednesdays at 7:30 pm., reenactors recount the slave trade on Curaçao.
Open daily 10 am to 5 pm.