The 17th-century Dutch Fort Oranje
Fort Oranje was built on the rock face of Oranjestad to protect the island against enemies and pirates. The Fort is made up of a courtyard with three bastions. Fort Oranje is the most important and best preserved of the sixteen remaining defenses on the island. The Dutch, French, and English fought for years to get hold of St. Eustatius, whereby the Oranje Fort kept changing hands and played an important role in history.
The famous First Salute
World history was written when the Dutch Governor Johannes de Graaf ordered the famous First Salute fired from Fort Oranje on November 16, 1776. Nine cannon shots were fired to greet the Andrew Doria ship, which sailed under the American flag. The salute from the island was the first time that the flag of the United States had been officially recognized by another country. In 1939, US President Roosevelt presented a plaque in honor of this event, which can be admired by the flagpole on Fortress Square.
With its rich history and breathtaking sea views, Fort Oranje is a must-see during your stay. Go on a self-guided discovery or book a historical-cultural city tour with a guide. The tourist information office is located in the fort.