Fort Amsterdam Monument near Philipsburg St Maarten

Fort Amsterdam – A Fort Guarding the Salt Trade


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. It overlooks both Philipsburg and the first Dutch settlement on island, Little Bay. The fort was besieged by amongst others Peter Stuyvesant, trying to retake the fort from the Spanish, and losing the leg in the process.


Later, the fort functioned as a radio station for long distance communications. Bulwarks, walls and some houses remain of the fort. Also, some parts of the old radio station can be found.


Fort Amsterdam is also well known as one of the best places to spot the national St Maarten bird, the Pelican. Large groups of these Brown Pelicans are active on the western part of the fort, aiming for the same fishes that make the sea below so good for snorkeling.


The fort offers a great view of both Great Bay and Little Bay, Philipsburg the Cruise Port and Divi Little Bay Resort.


Where To Find / How To Get To Fort Amsterdam?


Fort Amsterdam can be accessed via Divi Little Bay Resort. Mention at the resort entrance you are visiting for the fort. From Divi, it is a 5 minute walk. Signage is in place to guide you to the fortress. Entry is free.


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Fort Amsterdam, Sint Maarten