Bridgetown Sights and Landmarks Guide, Barbados
Spanning the water-body (the Careenage and Constitution River), the city of Bridgetown, Barbados, has its own beauty. But then, Bridgetown has more to it than its natural beauty. Actually, the Bridgetown area has been settled long (the indigenous tribes that also inhabited regions of South America like present-day Caracas, Valencia and even the interiors were among the early inhabitants of the region); no wonder that the city boasts of a rich culture and history.
Bridgetown Sights – Places of Cultural Importance
Start your tour of various Bridgetown sights by paying a visit to the Barbados Museum. Housed in a British Military Prison built in 1817, the museum gives you a comprehensive view of Barbadian history – right from the time of the Amerindians to glimpses of African and European cultures. You will also get to see a sizeable collection of art and artifacts here. There is a special natural history section and a research library.
Another site to check is the Tyrol Cot Heritage Village. Built in 1854 by William Farnum, this Italian villa has been the place of residence of the first premier of independent Barbados, Sir Grantley Adams. The cottage-interior, with all its paraphernalia, gives you an understanding of the ways of life on the island in the late 19th/early 20th centuries.
Queen’s Park is a must-visit site. The former quarters of the Commander of British Troops in Barbados, the park was opened to the public in 1909. Apart from the Georgian-style building (which has now been converted to an art gallery-cum-theater) the park has one of the largest/oldest trees on the island –almost 2 centuries old, over 50-feet round Baobab tree.
Bridgetown Sights – Places of Historic Importance
Bridgetown has many Squares/Plazas and most of these have one or the other connect with the area’s history. The National Heroes Square deserves special mention; standing close to the Parliament buildings, this park has three carvings – one obelisk-shaped cenotaph, a statue of Lord Horatio Nelson and a fountain.
If the National Heroes Square honors the national heroes, the Emancipation Memorial/Statue (also known as Bussa Statue) pays homage to those who participated in the slave rebellion of 1816.
Bridgetown’s Parliament buildings that date back to the 1870s also make interesting viewing. These buildings are among the oldest parliaments in the British Commonwealth.
Bridgetown Sights – Places of Religious Importance
Bridgetown is home to one of the oldest synagogues in the region. Built in 1654, this Jewish congregation was destroyed in 1831 because of harsh climatic conditions and it had to be restored. Presently, the Barbados National Trust has been entrusted with the up-keep of the synagogue.
The other important religious site is The Cathedral Church of Saint Michaels and All Angels. The present stone-structure built in 1789 (that replaced the original wooden church built in the 1660s) is a good example of neo-classical architecture. Originally a church, it was given the status of a cathedral only in 1825.
Wrap up your tour of the various Bridgetown sights by visiting the 1987-built Independence Arch at the Independence Square and if you still have some time left, you can visit the venue of the 2007 Cricket World Cup final, Kensington Oval.
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