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penha building curacao

The special Penha building on Curacao

One of the most impressive sights on Curacao is the Penha building. This building is very special and you will notice it as soon as you see it for the first time. The building does not appear to be ‘real’. By this I mean that it mostly resembles a real-life dollhouse, although it was meant to be a real house to live in. This is mainly due to the yellow color that covers the entire building and the beautiful, ornate moldings it has. The Penha building in Curacao is a place you should definitely visit when you are in Willemstad in Curacao. It is located on the colorful Handelskade and can be found on the corner of Handelskade with Breedestraat. This special building is even the most photographed building in Willemstad in Curacao thanks to its impressive appearance with the beautiful yellow color and beautiful frames.

The history of the Penha building

The Penha building in Curacao was built in the 18th century, in 1708 to be specific. People wanted to use this building as a commercial building and it was therefore used as a warehouse. A while later, this special building was also used as a residence to live in. The first inhabitant of this beautiful house was the widow of a Dutch governor land ago. The current governor at the time, her son, lived opposite her in the Governor’s Palace.

The fact that this yellow building is special has now been internationally recognised. In 1997 the Penha building in Curacao was placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List as part of the historic city center.

In 1865 the company ‘Penha & Sons’ was founded. This company had 22 stores in the Caribbean Netherlands region. They mainly sold high quality products along the lines of style, beauty and fashion.

What is the purpose of the Penha building now?

Today the Penha building certainly still has a function. The Penha shop can still be found here! It is a chic shop where they now sell perfume, among other things. The best thing about this is that you don’t have to pay VAT on the products! However, the Penha store in this colorful building is no longer alone, because there are several branches of this store spread across the island. So you can go shopping in several places on Curacao at this chic store!

Can you visit the Penha building?

If you would like to visit this beautiful building, I have good news for you: this is possible! First of all, you can of course marvel at the building from the outside. This special, yellow building is perfect for taking pictures or taking pictures with it because of the special color and the ornate frames that can be found on the building. You can also enter the building and visit the chic Penha perfumery shop. If you are in Willemstad in Curacao, you should definitely visit the Penha building on the Handelskade!