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Historic Bridgetown and Its Garrison, Barbados

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Barbados' capital city of Bridgetown and its Garrison is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Bridgetown derived its name from the bridge that was constructed in the area by the original Amerindian settlers. The island was settled by the English in the 17th century and early deeds refer to the area as The Indian Bridge and The Indian Bridgetown.

Bridgetown was to become a key hub for trade and commerce with its harbour (or Careenage) often filled with trading vessels. This city was also often the first port of call for ships making the trans-Atlantic crossing from Africa.

View of Bridgetown, Barbados
View of Bridgetown, Barbados

Barbados Garrison

The colonial powers - England, France, Spain and Holland - were often at war over the prosperous islands of the Caribbean. Protecting the colonies was therefore of great importance and is reflected in the fortifications created along the western coast of Barbados.

The Barbados Garrison was the largest in the British Colonies in the 18th and 19th centuries. It began with the construction of St. Ann's Fort in 1705 and grew to include soldiers' barracks, a parade ground and commissariat.

The area today

In 2011, Historic Bridgetown and Its Garrison was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Bridgetown and its Garrison continue to be a hive of social and commercial activity where historic buildings blend with modern amenities. Join us on an interactive tour of some of the major buildings listed within historic Bridgetown and Its Garrison or explore this historic area through our photo galleries.

There are several hotels and vacation rentals in and around the World Heritage Site. Why not stay at one?

Bridgetown, the Garrison and the surrounding areas are alive with activity including diving & snorkeling, rum tours and horse racing. See what else is going on...

This historic area - and Barbados in general - has been featured in the latest magazine publication from The magazine is available for high res download online or you can order the print version and have it shipped to you. Click here for downloads and more info.

Tours of the World Heritage Site

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