Sint Eustatius

A Caribbean Atlantis

more than a year ago

If you thought the mythical island of Atlantis was located at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean or the Mediterranean, think again. The Caribbean version of this lost civilisation can be found just off of Lower Town in Oranjestad. During the 17th and 18th centuries, Statia was a major trading centre with thousands of ships dropping anchor in her waters. For a while, the island was one of the only links between Europe and the fledgling American colonies. Unfortunately, huge parts of this prosperous island crashed into the sea after a disastrous earthquake. The old city walls that supported the quay for the merchant ships collapsed later and the island never recovered. Thankfully, if you're a diver their loss can be your gain. The St. Eustatius Historical Foundation Museum displays treasures salvaged from the sunken warehouses on the sea bottom. Items such as cannon balls, bottles, clays pipes, jewellery and the famous blue glass beads (used as salaries for the slaves) are all on display.

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