...A local tour-guide told him that the reason why homes in Curacao were painted in pastel colours is because in the 1700s a Dutch governor suffered from migraine head-aches which he believed were triggered by the reflection from the stark white buildings. He ordered that all buildings be painted in muted, pastel shades to help prevent his migraines. Have you ever heard of this legend?
What your friend shared is an often-told legend from Curacao. It is believed that their early 19th century Governor-General Albert Kikkert suffered from migraine headaches, which he thought were caused by the bright sun reflecting off the white-painted buildings in the Dutch Caribbean's capital city of Willemstad.
While it is unlikely that this was the source of the problem bright or glaring lights can often be extremely irritating to someone with a migraine headache thus the Governor-General issued a decree in the early 1800's that the citizens of Willemstad paint their structures any color but white. The result are the wonderfully brilliant pastel colors of the historic buildings.
Curaçao, the largest island in the Netherlands Antilles has buildings dating as far back as the 1600s still stand today. Since it is located outside of the region affected by hurricane belts hundreds of historic buildings have been preserved and over 750 pastel-colored building have been restored to date.
In 1997 The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), an organization that seeks to encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity recognized Willemstad as a World Heritage city.
Lower right photo from Doctors Shopper website
Upper left photo from www.curacao-tourism.com