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Basseterre, St Kitts and Nevis
History of St Kitts
National Museum - The National Museum of St Kitts is located in the former 1894 Treasury Building and alongside the arch and "Gateway to Basseterre". This brightly colored arch was the entrance to the city for slaves arriving by ship. Today the arch and museum mainly welcome cruise ship visitors to the city of Basseterre. Exhibits in the museum focus on the island's Sugar Industry, slavery and emancipation - featuring pottery, tools, firearms and maps. This is a tiny museum, but you can get a flavor of St Kitts by taking a tour and it only costs a couple of dollars to walk through it.
 
Basseterre, St Kitts and Nevis
Earl of Romney
Romney Manor - Romney Manor is named for its 17th century owner - the Early of Romney - but the estate was originally established in 1626 by Samuel Jefferson II (a relative of Thomas Jefferson, the 3rd President of the USA). The two main attractions are the botanical gardens and the Caribelle Batik fabrics. The six acre botanical gardens feature exotic trees and flowers in a serene setting. Caribelle Batik is an Indonesian method of dying fabrics (dresses, shirts, scarves, etc.) in colorful and distinctive patterns. Demonstrations are given on site. And if you can get your driver to stop near the gates, there are pre-Columbian Carib Indian petroglyphs.
 
Basseterre, St Kitts and Nevis
Construction Began in 1690
Brimstone Hill Fortress - The number one attraction on St. Kitts, in my humble opinion, is the historic Brimstone Hill Fortress (originally named the Gibraltar of the West Indies). Built in 1690 by African slaves, this 38 acre UNESCO World Heritage Site is situated nearly 800 feet above sea level and was designed by the British to protect the island's sugar plantations. In 1782 the French laid siege to the fort, surrounding it with a fleet of 50 ships and over 8,000 men. After nearly a month of heavy bombardment, the 1,000 troupe British force surrendered. Today the fort is an enormous museum in various states of ruin. Highlights include the Citadel of St George, Western and Eastern Place of Arms and various Officers' Quarters. Definitely a "must-see".
 
Basseterre, St Kitts and Nevis
St. George's Anglican Church
Anglican Church - St George's Anglican Church is largest church in Basseterre and has a storied past. The original Roman Catholic Church named Notre Dame was built on this site in 1672 and burned to the ground in 1706. The church was rebuilt in 1723 as St George's, was damaged by fire in 1763 and restored, and then an earthquake in 1842 and a hurricane in 1843 completely destroyed the structure. The Georgian style church you see today was consecrated in 1859 and has survived the Great Fire of 1867 and several hurricanes since. Another church worth visiting near St George's and the across from Independence Square is Immaculate Conception Catholic Church.
 
Nevis, St Kitts and Nevis
Road to Nevis?
Nevis - There actually isn't a road to Nevis (pronounced "knee-vis"), but you can get within 2 miles of her shores while still on St Kitts. Otherwise you can hop a 45 minute island ferry or take a 10 minute flight from the airport. Once on the tiny 36 square-mile volcanic island you can enjoy the talking vervet monkeys, historic architecture, northern beaches and relaxed atmosphere. Nevis is also the birthplace of Alexander Hamilton, George Washington's Secretary of the Treasury.