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Oranjestad is a historic harbour town which is divided into two main sections. Lower Town is a strip of buildings just above sea level along the waterfront, which borders on the island's safest beach. Lower Town includes dive shops, numerous colonial-era ruins, and the harbour. Upper Town has a restored historic core, and is also the island's main commercial and residential centre.
Coat of arms of Sint Eustatius, showing the Quill volcano, the entrance to Fort Oranje and an angel fish
The main historical site in Oranjestad is Fort Oranje, a well-maintained, 17th-century fort in the direct centre of the town, overlooking the waterfront. This cliffside fort has cannons, intact fortifications and a courtyard. Nearby is a museum, the ruins of one of the oldest synagogues in the Western Hemisphere, and a Jewish cemetery.
The town's historical features also include a Dutch reformed church built in 1755, which is partly in ruins but still accessible (its tower can be climbed for long-distance views), various restored 18th-century merchants' residences - including the oldest one, the Gezaghebber House (former Lieutenant Governor's residence) on Kerkstraat - and restored wooden Caribbean style houses. The ruined buildings now submerged at the seafront can be explored by snorkelling.
Oranjestad itself contains grocery stores, restaurants, bars, a library, schools, a clinic and administrative offices of the government. Oranjestad is a major shopping destination for people from neighbouring Saint Kitts, as many goods, especially imported foodstuffs are cheaper.
Sint Eustatius has a medical university with more than 100 students.