Statia: leisurely wander around in an open-air museum
When you say “Statia”, you actually say “open-air museum”, because with its 119 historical monuments, this Dutch Caribbean island offers you every opportunity to immerse yourself in our rich and eventful past. Your relaxing vacation can include a leisurely stroll while revisiting history.
Dutch Reformed Church
The Dutch Reformed Church was built in 1755. The north and west walls of the tower were plastered white to serve as a beacon for those at sea. Every historical building material that was available on the island at that time can be found in this church.
The synagogue Honem Dalin or "She who is charitable to the poor" was completed in 1739. The Synagogue is the third oldest Caribbean synagogue and its inhabitants are said to have endured many hardships over the past 100 years. Ultimately, it stands in its current state as a majestic ruin.
The Roman Catholic Church of Sint Eustatius was built in 1910 and is dedicated to the Saint whose name was given to the island. The original church sits perched on the edge of the cliff. It is an 18th-century building located to the left of the Catholic Church.
Bethel Methodist Church
The Bethel Methodist Church dates back to 1843. It was built to replace a chapel that had been destroyed earlier that year by an earthquake felt as far away as New York. The bell hanging in the tower was cast in London in 1894. Methodism was introduced to Sint Eustatius by a slave named Black Harry and would later grow to become the largest denomination on the island.
The Dutch built this fort immediately after they occupied Statia in 1636. Overlooking the anchorage of Oranje Bay and the slave “climbing” path leading from the beach to the rest of the island, the fort was named after the first family of the Netherlands: the House of Orange. Inside the fort stand buildings that originally served as the governor’s and commander’s residences, the barracks, and the town hall.
Historical blue glass beads
A true historical treasure are the blue beads you may see on the beach after a storm.
These functioned as local currencies in the 17th century and were traded for tobacco, cotton, rum, and slaves. Legend has it that you don’t find the beads -- the beads find you, so if you are lucky enough to find one, it means you will return.
Statia has a total of nineteen fortresses, all of which offer magnificent views of the neighboring islands.
Sint Eustatius Historical Foundation Museum
The museum is housed in the residence of contemporary plantation owner, Simon Doncker, where the history of Sint Eustatius starting from pre-Colombian times is documented. Lavishly furnished period rooms once occupied by rich plantation owner and merchant still remain, serving as a reminder of the affluence Statia enjoyed during the 17th century
Discover the Golden Rock: an island teeming with history
In addition to “Statia”, you sometimes come across another name for Sint Eustatius: the “Golden Rock”.
The island was discovered by Columbus in 1493, but changed hands 22 times before eventually being owned by the Dutch. In the meantime, the French, English and Dutch eagerly sought to take advantage of the strategic location of this small island in the Caribbean Sea. The tiny nation earned the name “Golden Rock” from its prominence as a trading port in the 17th century.