1. Home
  2. Caribbean
  3. Curacao

Curacao History Timeline

Map of Curacao caribbean sea large curacao map caribbean sea
Locator Map of Curacao bahamas florida gulf of mexico mexico jamaica dominican republic st. vincent and the grenadines grenada central america atlantic ocean atlantic ocean usa honduras nicaragua panama caribbean sea pacific ocean puerto rico south america trinidad and tobago colombia barbados

Curacao timeline


  • (2500BC) First Amerindians arrived from northern South America

500 AD - 1500s

  • (500AD) Caiquetios Indians migrated from the Orinoco River to reside in Curacao
  • (1499) Alonso de Ojeda discovered Curacao
  • (1500s) Curacao settled by the Spanish
  • (1526) Juan De Ampues appointed Spanish governor of Curacao, Bonaire, and Aruba
  • (1568-1648) Dutch and Spanish fought in the Eighty Years' War
  • (1621) Dutch West India Company (WIC) founded
  • (1628) WIC captured Spanish silver fleet, consolidated Dutch domination of the seas
  • (1634) Dutch took possession of the island from Spain; founded a Dutch settlement
  • (1635) Amsterdam Chamber of WIC granted exclusive authority over Curacao
  • (1635-46) Curacao administered from Pernambuco, Brazil
  • (1639) Import of slaves to Curacao requested by WIC director
  • (1642) Peter Stuyvesant installed as governor of Curacao
  • (1646-64) Curacao administered from New Netherlands
  • (1648) Treaty of Munster, recognized Dutch independence, ended eighty years of war
  • (1662) Curacao made center for the Atlantic slave trade
  • (1675) Curacao declared a free port
1700s - 1800s
  • (1732) Private merchants granted right to participate in slave trade by WIC; Curacao home of one of the oldest permanent Jewish settlements
  • (1791) Dutch West India Company dissolved
  • (1795) Island's largest slave uprising at Kenepa Plantation led by slaves Tula and Carpata
  • (1800) Curacao came under British protectorate
  • (1802) Curacao returned to Dutch control
  • (1807) British captured Curacao
  • (1815) Curacao returned to Dutch control
  • (1863) Slavery abolished in Curacao


  • (1915) Royal Dutch Shell built oil refinery in Curacao
  • (1954) Curacao became seat of government for the Netherlands Antilles
  • (1968) International school started on the island
  • (1984) National flag and official anthem of Curacao inaugurated
  • (1985) Shell closed oil refinery in Curacao
  • (1997) United Nations named Willemstad a World Heritage Site on the island
  • (2006) World Baseball Classic held in Curacao
  • (2007) Netherlands Antilles declared Dutch, Papiamentu, and English official languages on the island
  • (2010) Netherlands Antilles dissolved; Curacao became a country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands; tropical storm Tomas struck Curacao, caused widespread flooding

Latest by WorldAtlas