The plantation PortoMari, which covers an area of 594 hectares, has a history that can be traced back to 1684 when the government first gave permission to raise livestock there. The landhouse (or country house) was built in the second half of the 18th century, but in the 1930’s it was struck by lightning and burnt to the ground.
From the very beginning of Dutch rule in Curacao, the sheltered bay at PortoMari was considered to be of strategic military importance for the defense of the island. In the 18th century a fortification was built on the top of Seru Caballe, a hill on the east side of bay. Rebuilt in 1742 as Fort PortoMari, it was equipped with 10 cannons, both 12 and 18 pounders. During the British invasion of Curacao in 1805, the fort was by no means up to strength. The English captured the fort, threw the only remaining cannon in the sea, plundered the power-house and devastated the battery. Thus the curtain fell for Fort PortoMari.
PortoMari played an important role in the slave uprising of 1795. It was here that slaves gathered and the famous discussion took place between Tula and Pastor Schink.
About 200 slaves and freed slaves used to live and work on the plantation. They raised livestock, cultivated maize, grew fruit and vegetables in the orchard near the landhouse, made charcoal and tended the limestone ovens. After emancipation in 1863, most of the slaves continued to live on the plantation.
“Tula, the Revolt” is a movie about the slave uprising at PortoMari. (http://www.tulathemovie.com)
Els Langefeld wrote a novel that is called “Porto Marie” about the slave history at PortoMari. isbn10 9062658164 (only available in Dutch)
Mondays – Sundays Nafl. 5.00 /3$ p.p
Children up to 12 enter for free
Daily from 9.30 a.m. till 18.30 p.m.
Closed on Dec. 31st & Carnival Sunday