Thursday, February 8, 2018

Philatelic Photograph: Fort Oranje Lighthouse - Kralendijk, Bonaire, Caribbean Netherlands

Fort Oranje & Lighthouse
Kralendijk, Bonaire
Caribbean Netherlands

N 12° 08.935 W 068° 16.609

Short Description: 

The Fort Oranje Lighthouse is located in Kralendijk harbor in Bonaire, opposite the cruise ship port.

Long Description:

The lighthouse at Fort Oranje is a four story, 44' high, square, tapered pyramidal, stone tower built in 1932. It replaced the wooden lighthouse built in 1868. It is an active lighthouse used as an aid to navigation. The light flashes white every 2 seconds. The harbor master's office is located within the fort.

Fort Oranje is the oldest existing structure in Bonaire. It was built by the Dutch in 1639. Above the defensive walls are four English cannons that date from 1808 - 1812. They were placed during the Napoleonic Wars, when the Netherlands lost control of Bonaire for the second time to the British from 1807 to 1816. Bonaire was returned to the Netherlands as a provision of the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1814.

Fort Oranje never saw any action. Until 1837 the fort was used by the commander of Bonaire. The buildings inside the fort were used by the government for police, fire brigade and as storage space.

The stamp was issued by the Caribbean Netherlands for the island of Bonaire on March 3, 2017 as part of a set of four stamps depicting lighthouses.

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