St. Kitts Heritage -Brimstone Hill

 

“Captain, 50 guns approaching at 12 o’clock!”

“Man the guns, prepare a warning sounding.  Fire!”

Walking around the concourse of the historic Brimstone Hill, I did a quick Princess Bride pirouette as I sliced my imaginary cutlass through the air and shouted the above script to my embarrassed bride, who was now seeking a quick retreat back to our car.

Keeping A Watchful Eye
Keeping A Watchful Eye

As an avid fan of the early warring history of the Caribbean Islands, in St. Kitts I was now in my element.  Situated almost 800 feet above the water below, is the Brimstone Hill Fortress.  Over 100 years in the making (1690 – 1790), this restored fortress is a shining reflection of a bygone era.  Cannons still point out to sea from nearly every angle of the prominent Fort George Citadel.

St. Kitts (St. Christopher), is the first Caribbean island to be permanently settled by both the English and the French, who shared the island between 1627 and 1713.  Both nations then used this example as a springboard for English and French colonialism throughout the world.

Infantry Officers Quarters
Infantry Officers Quarters

 

 

 

 

As such, St. Kitts played a valuable role in the establishment and history of the Caribbean.  Last year they celebrated their 7th annual History and Heritage Week.  Activities included a heritage hike, treasure hunts in Nevis and St. Kitts, a concert at Brimstone Hill, a food fair and a culture pageant.

 

Earning a Healthy Respect
Earning a Healthy Respect

Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site (1986), the Brimstone Hill National Park is a wealth of history and of the accounting of this island’s historic past.  Touring the entire Park gives you a glimpse into life as these islands developed.  Notably featured are the Prince of Wales Bastion, a lower level firing position which enabled them to defend their anchorage, the Infantry Officers Quarters, and the aforementioned Fort George Citadel, which now houses the Fort George Museum.

 

Fort George Citadel
Fort George Citadel

An Orientation Centre and Gift Shop help to complete the experience and inform the visitor.  And certainly not to be overlooked are the stunning vistas which greet you at every turn.  This truly is a phot-op of the grandest designs.

St. Kitts has much to offer.  Beautiful beaches, friendly people, and spectacular tropical weather.  But take our advice when on St. Kitts, grab your favorite wench, and spend a morning at Brimstone Hill.  You’ll never see Captain Jack Sparrow the same again!

Live the Life,
JVbytheSea

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A Day in St. Kitts, Our Top 5 Stops

The boat has docked, and the backpack is ready for a day ashore.  Now you and your significant other glance at each other, both wishing you had spent a little more time reviewing the possible excursion options.  Hey it’s a cruise vacation, who wants to read pamphlets?

Well don’t stress and let it spoil a day on a truly magical island.  Just print out our little checklist here and hand it to the taxi driver.  Then sit back and relax as you experience our Top 5 Stops on Beautiful St. Kitts.

No. 5  Port ZantePort Zante, St. Kitts
St. Kitts is no different than most stopovers in that all have an active cruise pier area.  What is unique about Port Zante is that this shopping district is well layed out, well appointed, and nearly brand new.  I love the layout of the main Boardwalk area, and it makes a great place to have a quick drink or indulge in the popular sport of people watching.

The CircusNo. 4 The Circus
In the heart of historic Basseterre is a petite roundabout which serves as the lifeblood of Kittitian life.  Known as The Circus, the hub of which features the bright green bronze of the Berkeley Memorial Clock, the center is modeled after Piccadilly Square, in London.  The cast iron tower features four clock faces and more than just a little architectural decoration.  We recommend enjoying a relaxing breakfast on the balcony of Ballahoo overlooking the Circus clock in the center of this historic square.

No. 3 Romney Manor
Continue your tour of the historic side of St. Kitts with a stop at the grounds of the Grounds at Romney ManorBeautiful Romney Manor.  Dating back to the early 17th century, these beautiful grounds are a treat for your senses.  Surrounded by the stunning flora and fauna, unwind as you stroll the relaxing grounds and take in the sights and scents.  Romney Manor is also the site of Caribelle Batik, where you will find beautiful hand made batik clothing and accessories.  Read more about our impressions of Caribelle Batik here.

Brinstone HillNo. 2 Brimstone Hill
Wrap up your tour of historic St. Kitts with a stop at the awe-inspiring Brimstone Hill.  While I recognize not everyone may be as enthralled by the history of the early warring days of the Caribbean as I am, still it is truly a most do for any stopover in St. Kitts.  Dating back to the 1690’s, and situated over 700 feet above the surrounding sea, this restored fort is a testament to the ancestors who defended her shores.  The vistas from the various decks are stunning and leave you dreaming of swashbuckling days of yore!

 

No. 1 Cockleshell Beach Nevis seen from Cockleshell Beach
The perfect way to wrap up a tour of St. Kitts is with a relaxing stop at Cockleshell Beach.  With gorgeous views of Nevis in the distance, it serves as a great location to unwind and enjoy the tropical sun and surf.  We highly recommend a stop at Reggae Beach Bar & Grill for a great meal and refreshing drinks.  Be sure to tell Gary and Delano that Island Art sent you.  They are always sure to greet you with a welcoming island smile and a winning attitude.  Put your feet up and kick back with an ice cool drink as you think about the day that was.  You may even get a glimpse of the elusive Vervet Monkeys that frequent the surrounding bush.

So now you have experienced the true highlights of the beautiful island of St. Kitts.  And you didn’t really need those slick brochures after all.  If you’re looking for a tour guide through St. Kitts we highly recommend Sugar Land Tours.  Ian is a great host and will go out of his way to create a perfect day for you.  And now, come to think of it, you have us wondering, How soon can we get back to one of our favorite island gems…

Live the Life,
JVbyTheSea

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