Barbados Heritage: Historic Bridgetown
Update: Bridgetown, Barbados is now a World Heritage Site! Read about it at http://barbados.org/historic-bridgetown-garrison-unesco-barbados.htm
Our last hub began our exploration of Barbados heritage. You'll recall that we mentioned that Barbados has a rich history and a tradition of maintaining and restoring our historic buildings.
Nowhere is this more evident than in the capital city of Bridgetown. Established by the early settlers of the island, Bridgetown has always been a hub of activity much of it centered around the local Parliament and the Careenage where ships from Europe (especially Britain) would bring in supplies and take back with them Barbados molasses, sugar and rum!
In 1872 the Chamberlain Bridge was erected over the Careenage - this amazing swing bridge was operated by two persons to allow entry into the inner basin. It was replaced by a modern lift bridge in 2006.
The Parliament Buildings are located just across the bridge, at the top of Broad Street. Established in 1639, the Barbados Parliament is the third oldest Parliament in the entire Commonwealth! Its limestone walls have stood the test of time well and the buildings are in immaculate condition.
The square opposite Parliament is a treasure trove of historical delights! The statue of Lord Horatio Nelson overlooks this square (formerly Trafalgar Square) which is now known as Heroes Square in honour of our national heroes.This statue was erected on 22 Mar 1813.. I'm sure you history buffs will realize it actually predates its counterpart in London!
In this square you will also find the Dolphin Fountain which commemorates the introduction of piped water to the capital city of Bridgetown in March 1861 and the Cenotaph honouring Barbadians who lost their lives in the two World Wars.
Head west along the Boardwalk and you'll reach the Old Spirit Bond. This 18th century building is now a mall but has been beautifully restored and retains its old charm. As the name implies the building was used to store rum (one of Barbados' major exports). It is ideally located next to the Careenage which made loading of the rum barrels that much easier.
Head east and you'll reach Queens Park, the former home of British Commander in the West Indies! In 1909 the park was opened and it remains a popular spot to socialize, visit the art gallery or watch a game of cricket. Another popular Bajan tradition is to walk through Queens Park on Christmas morning dressed in your finest attire!
We could go on and on but by now I guess you're a little tired from all this virtual walking! So in our next hub we'll take a closer look at the historic buildings of Bridgetown, Barbados.
Follow us at http://hubpages.com/profile/Barbados.org so you can be sure to catch all our interesting future hubs. Bye for now..