Published On: Tue, Oct 21st, 2014

Important place to visit in Curaçao – the Savonet Plantation House

SavonetWILLEMSTAD – Curaçao is rich in history. All over the island you can see evidences of a troubled past. If you live on the island or just visiting, it is truly a great idea to visit these historic sites. One of them is the Savonet Plantation House, located in Banda Bou, which is on the way to the western side of the island.

Savonet Plantation knows a long history. It was one of the largest plantations on the island; together with Plantation Zorgvliet it covered 1572 hectares of land. The former Savonet plantation covers a large part of the current Christoffelpark and it has a long history of habitation and cultivation.

The fact that Savonet plantation was one of the oldest plantations of Curacao is deducted from writings dating from the 17thcentury. In these writings Savonet is being described, as been built around 1662. The origin of the Savonet name is not clear, some of the stories state the name was deducted from the term ‘Savanna’, and others state it comes from the presence of the soap-tree or the “Savonetapel” that had been introduced to Curacao.

The West Indian Company, who managed the island for Holland was responsible for the construction and establishment of many of the plantations on the island.  Savonet didn’t belong to these so called company plantations but was a private plantation, commissioned by Matthias Beck, who was vice director of the West Indian Company and Curacao at that moment.

Company plantations were plantations that were built to support the activities of the Company itself  on the island.  Due to the growth that the Island went through during the slave trade after getting the slaves contract, also called “asiento” in 1662, the Company Plantations increased in numbers.  A lot of Dignitaries in this time took pieces of fertile ground themselves to build their own private plantations.

Plantation Savonet is especially unique because it is seen as the best-conserved and most complete plantation house in Curacao.

The landhouse was originally built in the 17th century (1662-1664). Builders did not have any tools on Curacao and as such most of the materials were shipped from Holland. But because the journeys were very long and did not have a regular schedule, the tools were not reliable and excessive so they looked for other solutions.

Presently the plantation house is a museum. The restoration was finished at the end of 2009, the plantation house and all other buildings were renovated and restored to their original condition.

The restoration cost Fl. 3.500.000 in total and it took 17 months to be completed; though it took 4 months longer than expected, the results are staggering and spectacular, a perfect home for  museum Savonet.

We hope you take time to visit this gem on the island.

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