The Dutch West India company, sent ships to Bonaire in 1623 to obtain wood, meat and water and they abandoned Spanish and Portuguese prisoners on the island, whom founded the town of Antriol. This name came from the Spanish word al interior meaning inside.
Antriol, along with Niki Boko, Playa, Noord Salina and Tera Cora, were all former villages in Bonaire which now form the five neighbourhoods of Kralendijk . As a visitor you can rent a car and drive into Antriol, to see the historic remnants of old derelict houses scattered across its sectors.
Before the 1900’s Antriol had pre-dominantly clay paved turf huts, named “Kas di bara”. After the 1900s more stone houses were seen. From the 1930’s houses were increasingly built of concrete, with the first cement arriving in Bonaire in the 1920’s.
If you stroll through Antriol, you can see many of the beautiful Antillean house designs, either in restored or neglected forms. The Main road of Kaya Korona has several of these styles of houses located on its sidewalks. By simply taking a trip down the main road you can be exposed to many historic elements of Bonaire, each house with its own story to be told.
One of the restored houses at 47 Kaya Korona is run as a therapy and entrepreneurial center called Bonaire Basics. The owner of this centre restored it into a traditional Hofi-style Antillean house and today it serves as a great picture of what an old style design looks like.
A further fun activity, can be too take a day trip into Antriol and stroll around the neighbourhood to see all the interesting houses, old, new or restored. In the famous words of Fred R. Barnard “A picture is worth a thousand words “. So to close off this blog I have left you with a few of the interesting houses you are bound to bump into on your future stroll through this historic suburb of Kralendijk.
Author : A.A Bierman