MONUMENTS

St. Maarten’s binational, indian, colonial and post-colonial times provided for a wide array of landmarks one can visit during a stay. Visit the Heritage and Fruits de Mer museums for an overview and suggestions for further exploration.

For a short introduction of St. Maarten’s unique history, see here. Some specific monuments you can visit to learn more about St. Maarten’s past.

Alec the butcher Monument

The forward-facing statue is Alec the Butcher, he had 42 children and was known for farming and selling fresh meat.

Belvedere Plantation  

The Belvedere plantation consists of a main house still occupied and a series of ruins. Most of the ruins lie west of the main house. The complex survived the post-slavery period and the modern period. It is unknown when the plantation was built.

Commander Rinks home, Frontstreet 49

This is the former house of Commander Rink. It was probably built between 1720-1780. Commander Rink was also the owner of a plantation called ‘Retreat’ in the Cul-de-Sac valley. 

Concordia Monument

In 1948, a monument was erected to remember the 300th anniversary of the Treaty of Concordia, in which the French and Dutch divided the island into its current binational status. Where else would the monument be, except for exactly on the border between both, from Cole Bay to Marigot?

The Convent, Frontstreet 22/24

The Dominicanessen Nuns built the Convent in 1954. These Dutch nuns came to Sint Maarten in 1890 and started a school and a hospital across the street.

Corner house, Backstreet 93

This house, on the corner of Backstreet and Hotelsteeg, belongs to the category ‘Great Houses’. The house was built around 1880. It burned down and was completely rebuilt. 

The Courthouse, Frontstreet 48 

The Courthouse was built in 1793. The plans were drawn by John Handleigh by order of commander Rink. During the last renovation in 1966 the Courthouse obtained its present form. This building houses the court of Sint Maarten.

Cul-de-sac Graveyard 

The graveyard is the site of one of the early settlements of the Dutch pioneers. What remains of the settlement are the foundations of the Dutch Protestant Church and the ruins of a house and oven located next to the church. In the graveyard, you will find more graves of prominent people from Sint Maarten’s past.

Ebenezer Plantation  

The ruins of the Ebenezer plantation are preserved as a historical monument in the middle of the multitude of modern buildings of the Ebenezer housing project. Historical documents are not available. An archeologist survey shows that the complex is of an early 19th-century date.

Emilio’s 

Named after the owner, this plantation is located opposite Mary’s Fancy. John Philip and the Van Romondt family at a point also owned the house in time. From the road, you will see some green rooftops surrounded by beautiful trees and flowers.

Emilie’s Place, Frontstreet 51

‘Emile’s Place’ (‘The Sandbank’), situated on the corner of Wathey Square and Front Street, is a traditional house that was built around 1900. It has been totally renovated but has not lost its charm.

The Evert Telenus Kruythof house, Frontstreet 119

This restored traditional building housed the museum of Sint Maarten, from 1989 to 1994. A carpenter named Evert Telenus Kruythof built this house for his wife in 1888. 

Freedom Fighter Monument 

The Freedom Fighters Monument is dedicated to those who fought for emancipation and freedom. Every year for emancipation day there is a commemorative wreath-laying ceremony at this monument.   

French Caribbean style house, Backstreet 96

Built around 1900 in the French Caribbean style, the house cannot be compared with any other in town. The building has been painted green and white. The veranda on the first floor has an iron, balustrade decorated with flowers and along the roof there is gingerbread fretwork. 

Fort Amsterdam

The fort located on the peninsula between Great Bay and Little bay was built in 1631 by the Dutch. It was their first Fort in the Caribbean named after the Chamber of Amsterdam. The chamber of Amsterdam also known as the East Indian Company was a mega corporation founded by a government-directed amalgamation of several rival Dutch trading companies in the early 17th century.

Fort William 1

Opposite the location of the former Great bay hotel a dirt road leads to the top of Fort hill where you will find forth William 1. The fort has had many owners and titles in the past, but the last owners being the Dutch gave it the name that remains to this day Fort William in 1816. 

Former Political headquarters, Backstreet 168

Here you will find another great house. This was the headquarters of the former S.P.A. political party. This is the only house on the Dutch side of the island with old decorated tiles on the veranda.

Guavaberry, Frontstreet 8

The Guavaberry factory shop was built in the 1830s. At first it was a house that was eventually turned into a restaurant. 

Harbor Light, Backstreet 30

The building belongs to the category ‘Great Houses’. Probably built around 1850, it could be older but that cannot be verified.

Lalie Monument

The lady facing to the right is known as Lalie, she was known for providing fresh bread and pastries to those in need. She also provided shelter during disasters, such as, hurricanes. The juvenile detention facility of Sint Maarten was named The Miss Lalie Center in honors of the late Miss Lalie.

The Lattice-work house, Backstreet 8

This is one of the few houses on the island that is partly decorated with latticework on the front side of the veranda. The balustrade is decorated with woodwork. Unfortunately, the house is in very bad shape. The decoration on the front facade and the gingerbread fretwork along the roof however have survived.

The Little House, Backstreet 12

This little house is the smallest in town! It is a good example of life outdoor! The dwelling was only used at night and during bad weather. The construction of the house is simple. 

‘L’Escargot’, Frontstreet 84

This house, painted in the red, white, and blue colors of the Dutch and French flags, is similar to the house on Back Street 93. The ground floor is used as a cellar and on the first floor, the restaurant ‘L’Escargot’ is located.

Madame Estate 

This plantation is one of the oldest ones on the island. Before the sugar trade, grapes were grown on the plantation that was sold to rich merchants on Sint Eustatius. Eventually they evolved to making sugar 1725 and in 1870 sold the building to the salt company which they used as their headquarters.

Mary’s Fancy 

Formerly Mary’s Fancy was a hotel but the small bungalows are now rented out as apartments. As with Madam Estate, grapes were once grown on the land of this plantation. When the sugar industry began on the island, the plantation made large investments to build a sugar factory.

Methodist church complex, Frontstreet 80

Here you will find the Methodist Church complex consisting of three buildings of historical and architectural interest. First the church that was originally built in 1851. The second one being the ‘brick building’ built around 1785 which is now part of a school. The third building, ‘the Manse’ (or minister’s house) is not a replica of the former manse pulled down in 1931 although it was built on the same spot.

Pasasanggrahan Frontstreet 15

The ‘Pasanggrahan’, Royal Guest House, is the oldest hotel in town that is still functioning in the center of Philipsburg. It was built in 1904 as the government guesthouse. Former queen Juliana stayed here during her first visit to the Island. 

The Oldest building in town, Frontstreet 53

This is one of the oldest buildings in the center of the town. The first floor used to be a home and the ground floor a grocery shop. The house was probably built at the end of the 19th century. The owner was a rich St. Maartener; anyone who could afford to live close to the Courthouse was considered rich.

One-Tété Lohkay Moment

She stands for defiance against injustice, for rising up in the face of tyranny and oppression. One-Tété Lohkay is one of the island’s remarkable legends. She has been called a female freedom fighter in St.  Maarten’s days of slavery and can be considered an example of rising up against oppression. 

Oranje School, Frontstreet 88

The ‘Oranje School was originally built as a church in 1738. When the English took over the church was demolished and all that was left were the foundations. In 1938 the building became a Government School.

Real estate office, Frontstreet 11

This house is a fine example of traditional architecture. Probably built between 1900-1920 as a home, it is now used as a real estate office.

Red roof house, Frontstreet 81

It is hard to say when this yellow house with a red roof was built, probably around 1900. The substructure of this house could be older than the wooden construction.

Salt factory ruins 

A Dutch engineer named Slotemakers and an Italian named Ademante built the salt factory in 1862. It was an experimental project to make salt in the rainy season. All that is left of the factory are the substructures and wall fragments.

Salt picker moment 

The first settlers of the island named the island, “Soualiga” which translates to the “Land of Salt.” In honor of the salt industry and the workers the government of St Maarten erected this group of statues and called it the “Salt Pickers.”

Salt Warehouse, Hendrikstreet 4

It used to be a home and is now a shop. The original shape of the house, however, has been well preserved. There is a warehouse to the left of the house where salt was stored that is much older than the house, dating back to the early 18th century.

School building, Backstreet 31

Opposite backstreet 30, you will find another building built around 1850. The building has several functions and is momentarily being used as a school.

Sint Peter’s battery

The battery was built by Abraham Heyliger in 1748 at the expense of the citizens of Philipsburg. Its purpose was to be in the range of ships sailing around the Point Blanche because these ships were beyond the firing range of fort Amsterdam. 

Slave Market, Frontstreet 95

This strangely shaped home housed the slave market back in the 18th century. If you look at the left facade you will find the entrance gate in a thick stone wall. In 1848, the French abolished slavery in their colonies including the French side of St. Martin. It was not until 1863 when the Dutch abolished slavery in all of their island colonies.

Tata the bus driver Monument

Tata was a well-known bus driver who took generations of St. Maarten’s children to school, making sure they were well behaved. It is important for folk heroes to be memorialized in public monuments. 

Traditional House, Backstreet 100

This very old house may be the best example in the town of the one unit traditional house. It is still completely covered with shingles except for the roof.

Traditional House 2, Frontstreet 23

This is an original traditional house with parts added on at the back. The house was built between 1900-1920, but the foundations may be older.

The Vineyard 

In 1871 the Van Romondt family imported the house from Baltimore, Maryland, USA. This country house is situated at the head of the town (at the east end of Philipsburg). The house received its name as of result of the sea grapes that once surrounded the house. 

The White House, Backstreet 122

This ‘Great House’, due to its color and size, is often called ‘The White House’. The house was built in 1904 and has been well maintained. 

Union Farm 

The union farm plantation was probably built around 1680 and in 1924 it was renovated. It is one of the best-conserved buildings on the island. 

Yellow house, Frontstreet 120

A cute yellow house probably dates from the beginning of the 19th century. The walls of the house are partly shingled and partly covered with horizontal weatherboards.

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