The Rif Fort is part of the historic center of Willemstad that is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Rif Fort is located at the entrance of the St. Anna Bay to the west of Otrobanda next to the internationally renowned floating bridge in the city of Willemstad. Willemstad is the capital of Curaçao, a small island in the Caribbean Sea that forms a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Formerly the capital of the Netherlands Antilles prior to its dissolution in 2010, it has an estimated population of 140,000. The fort was built in 1828/1829 between the entrance of the bay, the coast and formerly the Rif Water.
It was built to protect the entrance of the St. Anna Bay and the outer part of Otrobanda. The fort lost its military purpose in the first part of the 20th Century, and the grounds of the fort were used by a water company. In 1942 the fort was armed with two 37mm machine-guns.
Later the government housed their institutions and a police station in the fort. At present the fort is freely accessible. The Rif Fort Museum will add an extra dimension to what oftentimes is no more than a visit to a nice shopping center. History comes to life.
Several restaurants, bars and shops can be found inside the Fort as well.