Unique Characteristics of a Curaçao Landhuis
Landhuizen play an important role in the cultural heritage of Curaçao. Of course, they make an impression from the outside as you can often spot the grand, colorful buildings from afar. But they also incorporate important history because of their building style and specific features that explain certain uses in the past. This is why most landhuizen fall under monumental care and adhere to a set of specific rules.
Below we list just a small selection of unique characteristics you can look for when visiting one of our landhuizen.
- In the kitchen you will find a red wall with white dots. The reason is to confuse the flies as they get disoriented by the dots
- Sometimes you will find so-called fat bellied pillars. The reason is that coral stone is not as solid as concrete, so they had to stack more in the bottom to make it stronger
- Usually painted in ochreous yellow. Most landhuizen most likely used to be white, but in 1817 it was forbidden by the governor to paint your house white, as the reflection was considered to be damaging to the eye.
- Dutch colonial building style
- Built mainly out of coral stone
- Always built so that the trade winds can blow freely through the house and cool it
- Has a high saddle roof, made with Dutch tiles, that leads rain to a cistern
- Outside you will find small buildings called magasinas, used for storage
- In the façade of the house you sometimes see an eye. This was used to alert other landhuizen when there was a fire or other danger, like a riot happening, by sticking out a burning torch. Often Landhuizen have more than one eye so they can alert more areas.
Location and purpose
- Usually part of a plantation
- Usually situated on top of a hill for the plantation owner to overlook the land (and kunuku homes of the slaves) and the ability to see other landhuizen