The Dutch, under the command of Johan van Walbeeck, conquered Curaçao in 1634 from the Spaniards. Curaçao was strategically situated to fight the Spaniards. Both Curaçao and Bonaire were also important for the extraction of salt. The main priority was to build a fort to defend Curaçao. The entrance of St. Anna Bay offered an excellent place for this purpose, and on this spot, Fort Amsterdam was built. The palace is on the same spot where the first fort was built in 1635. Until 1860, the Government Palace was used as the seat of various administrative organs, and the spaces under the Palace served as a storage depot, as a watch house and as a prison. Over the years many directors and governors have lived in the palace with their family including Governor De Rouville (1866-1870). The Palace has undergone many restorations. The last governor actually living in the palace, Professor Römer (1983-1990), ordered a big restoration. During this time he stayed at Plantation House Santa Barbara. The current governor, since November 2013, is Lucille George-Wout. She does not live in the palace but uses it as an office instead.