The Capital – Philipsburg St. Maarten
Land on St. Maarten central Philipsburg. Philipsburg St. Maarten is the capital of the Dutch side Sint Maarten. Named after its founder, Philipsburg St. Maarten is established in the 1763 as an urban metropolis by Mr. John Philips, a Scottish captain of the Dutch Navy, a man of honor responsible for holding up high Philipsburg St. Maarten as a city that is full of life with it being a characteristic market center for international trades. And as zippy and zesty as ever, Philipsburg St. Maarten remains an active hub stringed with sparkling shopping streets, cafes, hotels, and resorts.
Filling the narrow stretch of land between Great Bay and the Great Salt Pond, the busy Philipsburg St. Maarten is cut between two main roads namely the Front Street, and of course the Back Street.
The Front Street is officially considered as the main access road in Philipsburg. Characteristic of its duty free shops of multinational items and narrow alley ways leading to arcades and courtyard gardens, Philipsburg never fail to astound visitors with its traditional West Indian architecture and characteristic pastel-colored buildings with second-story verandas reaching out warmly over the entire street to wonder struck walkers. The most famous historical landmark catches attention of on-foot wanderers – the 1793 Courthouse. Still serving as Philipsburg St. Maarten courthouse through ages, the Front Street Courthouse superior white wooden structure topped with a charming cupola. The Simartin Museum also stands close in Front Street briefing visitors with an excellent introduction to the area’s local history while also exhibiting original forebear potteries, Arawaks, and salvaged 1801 British ship cargo.
Philipsburg St. Maarten also owes allegiance to its valiant ports during the historical periods – Fort Amsterdam and Fort Willem.
The strategic location of the 1631 Fort Amsterdam on the peninsula between Great Bay and Little Bay became the first ever military outpost in the Caribbean, in that case also becoming susceptible to the enemy’s attacks. Fort Amsterdam was fatefully captured by the Spaniards and then turned into Spain’s most important base in the east of Puerto Rico. In 1648, the Dutch retrieved the fort. Fort Willem on the other hand, dates since its British birth in 1801 later taken over by the triumphant Dutch and becoming a signaling and communications station in the 1950’s. It now puts its TV transmission tower on top view of the popular playful Philipsburg panorama. All through its history, Philipsburg’s fire excitement seem to have never ceased.
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