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Map of Philipsburg (1850)
The fort in 1966

Fort Amsterdam is a historic fort on the island of Saint Martin, near the Sint Maarten town of Philipsburg. [1]


Major Thomas Huxley, a leader of the British siege of Fort (1800) Old Burying Ground (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

The fort was built by the Dutch in 1631. Located near Great Bay and Little Bay, it was soon captured by the Spanish who occupied it as a military post until 1648. In that year the partition agreement was signed by the Dutch Republic and France. The island, and therefore the Fort, changed hands many times between the Dutch Republic, England and France.[2]

Today, the fort is small, and in a decaying state of repair, but still worth visiting. There are several rusting 19th century cannon in place, and several informational signs.

Important Bird AreaEdit

The fort is on a peninsula about 2.5 km long and is a registered historical site, consisting of several ruins. There is a breeding colony of brown pelicans, of up to 60 nests, on the west side of the point, on a slope below the fort. The 278 ha site has been identified as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International. The vegetation is characterised by thorny scrubland of Acacia macracantha and A. tortuosa, reaching over 2 m in height.[3]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Philipsburg: Crossroads of the Caribbean
  2. ^ St Maartens History
  3. ^ BirdLife International. (2011). Important Bird Areas factsheet: Fort Amsterdam, Sint Maarten. Downloaded from "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-07-10. Retrieved 2013-08-24.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) on 2011-12-26.

Coordinates: 18°00′53″N 63°03′35″W / 18.0146°N 63.0597°W / 18.0146; -63.0597