History of the Rif Fort

The construction of the Riffort, instructed by Lt. General Baron Krayenhoff, reached its completion on 29 December 1828 Both Riffort and Waterfort protected the harbor of Curacao against pirates and enemies of (countries at war with) the Netherlands.

At the same time the Riffort was built, a dome shaped building had been constructed to store the chain with which the harbor could be locked up. The chain could be transported from Otrabanda to Punda with an unsinkable raft. This took 12 minutes whereas hauling in of the chain took only 6 minutes. In 1928, exactly 100 years later, the building was demolished.

The size of the Riffort is 96 x 30 meters, the thickness of the walls is 1 ½ meters and there were 56 cannons and lighter cannonades in the 27 arches. The Riffort had its own barracks, (canon)powder magazine and rainwater storage tanks. It was completely bombproof. The costs for building the Riffort at that time (1828) were fl. 298.000,00.

When the Riffort was completed, all soldiers whom till that moment lived temporarily in barracks in the Waterfort at Punda, moved to the new and comfortable Riffort at Otrabanda.

Later, in 1859, when the new barracks "Willem III" had been built at the Waterfort, the soldiers moved back again to Punda where they lived even more comfortably than before. The barracks at the Riffort were demolished in 1928. In 1908 the Riffort was put into use for radiotelegraphy en during World War II several of the arches were used by the radio station "Curom".

The Sopranos Sports Bar, The Rif Fort, Otrabanda, Curacao. Phone: 005999 567 0007 - 005999 465 4007 - sopranos@curacaowineanddine.com
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