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Fort Zoutman

Fort Zoutman is Aruba’s oldest building, constructed in 1798 by the Dutch to protect the island from pirates and enemies. The fort was named for Dutch Rear Admiral Johan Zoutman, who never set foot on the island. The most recognizable portion of the fort, the Willem III tower, was built in 1868, and has ever since been one of Aruba’s most recognizable landmarks. Prior to landfill construction in 1930, the fort stood on the coastline.

Over the years, the building has been used as an aloe garden,jail,courthouse,tax office, library, and post office. It is now a museum.

Johan Zoutman

Every time I stroll around Oranjestad I can’t help noticing the clock tower, but it wasn’t until this past August that I finally took the tour. I highly recommend it. The museum was small but informative. There is a nice outdoor courtyard where guests can enjoy a cold (complementary) drink. We were lucky enough to arrive when the clock tower was open, so we climbed the rickety old wooden stairs to the outdoor observation deck. The views were great the day we visited. One caveat-duck when you reach the top of each landing. I whacked my head pretty good and got a nasty little cut. No big deal and a small price to pay.  On Tuesday nights the Bon Bini festival is held in the courtyard. The facility is also rented out for various events. The museum is open Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00p.m.

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