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Curacao From Above

Curacao From Above (Buildings & City)

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Curaçao (Dutch: Curaçao, Papiamentu: Kòrsou) is an island in the southern Caribbean Sea, off the Venezuelan coast. The island area of Curaçao (Dutch: Eilandgebied Curaçao, Papiamentu: Teritorio Insular di Kòrsou), which includes the main island plus the small, uninhabited island of Klein Curaçao ("Little Curaçao"), is one of five island areas of the Netherlands Antilles, and as such, is a part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Its capital is Willemstad.

Curaçao is the largest and most populous of the three so called ABC islands (for Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao) of the Lesser Antilles, specifically the Leeward Antilles. It has a land area of 444 square kilometers (171 square miles). As of 1 Jan. 2008 (10 years ago), it had a population of 140,796.

Origin of the name Curaçao

The origin of the name Curaçao is still under debate. One explanation is that it is derived from the Portuguese word for heart (coração), referring to the island as a centre in trade, or it could mean healing (curação) for the plants that grow on the island. Spanish traders took the name over as Curaçao, which was followed by the Dutch. Another explanation is that Curaçao was the name the indigenous peoples of Curaçao had used to label themselves (Joubert and Van Buurt, 1994 (24 years ago)). This theory is supported by early Spanish accounts, which refer to the indigenous peoples as "Indios Curaçaos".

The most popular theory is that the Spanish named the island "Corazon" (Spanish for "heart") for its heart shape, which later became "Curaçao", derived from the Portuguese word for heart, "Coração".

Whatever the origin of the name, after the year 1525 (493 years ago) the island appeared on Spanish maps as "Curaçote," "Curasaote," and "Curasaore." By the seventeenth century the island was generally known on all maps as "Curaçao" or "Curazao".

On a map created by Hieronymus Cock in 1562 (456 years ago) in Antwerp, the island was referred to as Quracao.

The name "Curaçao" has become associated with a particular shade of blue, and is sometimes used as an adjective, because of the deep-blue liqueur named "Blue Curaçao".


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