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Barbados Heritage: Bridgetown Buildings
In our last hub we visited some of the heritage sites in Barbados' capital city Bridgetown and uncovered some of its magnificent monuments and statues.
Today we'll focus in on some of the historic buildings that are dotted around the city. I should also mention that a walking tour is a great way to explore Bridgetown. You can use our hubs or a Barbados map (free all around the island) as a guide or just set out and make some discoveries of your own!
Let's start at St. Michael's Cathedral (Anglican). The current coral stone building was erected in 1786. The original building was destroyed by hurricane 6 years earlier. The Church graveyard is the resting place of several prominent Barbadians including politicians and governors-general. Some of the tombstones dates back to the late 1600’s! This is an active church as feel free to worship here - see http://www.anglican.bb/michael for times of services.
Religion was an important part of life for early settlers in Barbados so it is no surprise that religious buildings are a key part of Bridgetown heritage. The Bridgetown Jewish Synagogue is further proof of this. The first synagogue built in the western hemisphere in 1654, it was later destroyed by hurricane and rebuilt. The Synagogue is testimony to the Jewish contribution in Barbados. It is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 12 noon and 1pm to 4pm.
Of course right up there in importance with religion was... politics! The Old Town Hall is located near Cheapside towards the western part of Bridgetown. This historic building was restored in 2003 with the original southern and eastern walls preserved.
Not exactly a historic building but historic nonetheless is the Baobab tree in Queen's Park. Some say it was brought here 250 years ago from Africa, others speculate that it is 1,000 years old, the seed having floated across the Atlantic from Africa! Whichever is true, there is no disputing that this magnificent tree with a 61.5-foot circumference is a historic treasure.
I hope we've inspired you to make a tour of Bridgetown part of your Barbados vacation.
Ask your hotel about the FREE Bridgetown shuttle that runs from south and west coast hotels Monday to Saturday!