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St. Eustatius

The island territory of St. Eustatius is 21 km² and has a population of about 3,500 people. The capital is Oranjestad. St. Eustatius consists of a presumably dormant volcano in the south eastern part of the island, called The Quill (anglicization of the original Dutch name 'De Kuil') and an approximately 200.000 years old, extinct volcano in the northern part of the island, with in between a relatively flat terrain. Columbus was the first who put St. Eustatius on the map in 1493. In 1636 it was occupied by by the Dutch. St. Eustatius became an important transit port; the most profitable asset of the “West-Indische Compagnie” (WIC). In the 18th century it was called the Golden Rock. In 1779 more than 3,000 vessels from Europe, America and Africa moored at the roadstead of Oranjestad. Sometimes more than 20 vessels arrived in one day. Two hundred ships could be moored at the same time at the roadstead. In 1776 England seized St. Eustatius. An alternation of French and English occupations followed. The economy of the island collapsed completely. Since 1816 St. Eustatius became Dutch property again but English remained the working language.

Economy

The government is the main employer on St. Eustatius. The main private employer is Statia Terminals, an oil terminal of the American company NuStar. Tourism is also important, in particular the diving tourism.

The St. Eustatius flag

The flag is divided into four five-sided blue fields each edged in red. In its centre is a diamond –shaped white field with in it the contours of the island in green and a yellow star.

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