Bridgetown: Experience the Rich History of Barbados' Capital

The city, founded in 1628 by the British Empire, offers several options to discover the history of the island

Bridgetown, capital of Barbados, is a city full of rich histories that go back centuries – photo: Barbados Tourism

Bridgetown, the capital of Barbados, is a city full of rich histories dating back centuries. The city, initially populated by native indigenous people, became a British colony in the 17th century, and received its name (“Bridge City”) because it was one of the only structures found when the settlers arrived at the site. With its unique mix of cultural influences, the city is an ideal option for travelers interested in the history of Barbados. Discover the charm of Bridgetown and the city's different attractions.

The Barbados Parliament Buildings, the oldest established in the Commonwealth, are home to the House, Assembly and Senate – photo: Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc

Strolling through Bridgetown's cobbled streets, you'll find a number of buildings dating back to British colonial times. You Barbados Parliament Buildings, built with local limestone, were designed and completed in 1874, in the Gothic style. The site is home to the House of Assembly and the Senate, the Parliament of Barbados being the oldest established in the Commonwealth. The history of the government of the island is archived and exposed in the Parliament Museum, which also houses the Gallery of National Heroes. This gallery showcases artistic interpretations of the contributions of Barbados' 10 national heroes. 

Another emblematic place is the Cathedral of San Miguel. The Anglican church, considered an architectural and historic treasure of Bridgetown, was built in 1789 and houses the largest pipe organ in the Caribbean. Once inside, you can watch the light dancing in the stained-glass windows in the XNUMXth-century baptismal font. 

The Barbados Museum and Historical Society is located on the Barbados UNESCO World Heritage property and reveals the rich history, culture and heritage of the island – photo: Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc

A visit to Barbados Museum and Historical Society it is an unmissable stop. Located on Barbados' UNESCO World Heritage property, the galleries of the Museum of Barbados are housed in XNUMXth-century military buildings and reveal the island's rich history, culture and heritage. The museum houses a vast collection of artifacts that tell the story of Barbados from prehistoric times to modern times. There, visitors can explore exhibits that highlight Barbados' history of slavery, indigenous culture, naval history and much more. In addition, there is a museum shop that is ideal for shopping for unique Barbados souvenirs and gifts, such as prints, XNUMXth-century maps and books.

Situated on the edge of Bridgetown is another UNESCO World Heritage Site. To the docks of Blackwood Screw are an example of the brilliance of marine engineering. In the heart of Bridgetown, behind historic warehouses and former sugar bonds, is the world's oldest ship elevator. Barbados' strategic location made it a center of commercial shipping activities in the 1893th, XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries. As a result, the construction of the facility in XNUMX was essential for many merchant ship owners. Next to the property is the Historic Maritime Center, which features photographs and exhibits from Barbados' past. In addition, there is a restaurant that offers a perfect view of the fishing and tour boats.

To represent the struggle of slaves in Barbados, the Bussa Monument was made, a tribute to the leader of the rebellion – photo: Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc

Bridgetown is also home to the Bussa monument, a tribute to the struggle of slaves in Barbados. The monument is a representation of Bussa, an enslaved leader who led a revolt in 1816, against the oppression of slaves in Barbados. The statue was created in 1985 by Bajan sculptor Karl Broodhagen 169 years after the rebellion, symbolizing the “Breaking Of Chains”. It is a significant place to reflect on the history of slavery on the island and honor the fight for freedom. For lovers of local cuisine and culture, the famous Cheapside Market is the ideal option. In the traditional market you can find local crafts, spices, typical foods and much more. It's a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture and experience the warm hospitality of Bridgetown's locals.

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