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True, your days in Barbados can easily be spent solely along the shore with your feet in the sand, relaxing in the sun. But for many vacationers, this is not enough. Fulfill the part of you that is curious about life on the island by touring some of Barbados most important landmarks.
In 1780 the area behind St. Ann's Garrison was a swampy marshland used as a graveyard. The dead were burried in shallow graves, or left on top of the swamp to be absorbed after only a few days. At the beginning of the 20th century, many of these graves were dug up and moved to a cenotaph called the “Cross of Sacrifice.” The memorial is free, and open to visitors from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Cotton Tower Signal, Grenade Hall Forest Signal Station, and Gun Hill Signal Stations were created as a way to send smoke signals to communicate throughout the island. They were constructed at strategic points across the island, and could also be used as lookout points. Many people visit Gun Hill Signal Station to catch a glimpse of the statue of a lion that was carved from a single piece of rock.
In Bridgetown, visitors can check out National Heroes Square, which is home to a war memorial, a fountain honoring running water on the island, and a monument for Lord Horatio Nelson. The square is located across the street from the Parliament Buildings, which are another site worth seeing, just the view the Gothic architecture alone.
After the British arrived in Barbados in 1625, they quickly built up plantations that they could use for profitable crops. Of course, slave labor was used during this time with little care for the people who were being enslaved. Owners worried only about the money they were making by not having to pay for labor. Today, visitors can tour the grounds, and often times the mansion homes, of these plantations.
There are also a number of rum distilleries and sugar mills on the island. Many of these facilities are open to the public, and provide tours that teach visitors the history of production, while showing off how the items are made today.
Barbados is home to one of the oldest synagogues in the Western Hemisphere. The original house of worship, Nidhe Israel Synagogue, was built in 1657, though the cemetery dates back to the 1630s. In 1831 the synagogue fell victim to a hurricane, but was rebuilt in 1833. Today, it is open to the public daily, and services are held on Friday nights.
Legend has it that when the United State's first president George Washington visit Barbados in 1751, he worshiped at St. Michael's Cathedral in Bridgetown. Though nobody has ever been able to prove it, visitors can visit this location, which is open daily to the public.
Other historic churches on the island include St. James, St. John, St. Peter, and St. Philip.
For American history in Barbados, check out the Bush Hill House, where president George Washington stayed while on the island. It has since been restored as a popular attraction.
Constructed in 1854 and restored by the Barbados National Trust more recently, is Tyrol Cot. This was the home of the island's first Premier, Sir Grantley Adams, and his son, the island's first Prime Minister, Tom Adams. Now the home is filled with Adams family memorabilia. Surrounding Tyrol Cot is Heritage Village, a kind of living museum filled with chattel houses filled with historic crafts and goods.
On top of all of the aforementioned attractions and historic sites, there are numerous other museums throughout Barbados. Learn more about each here:
|Arlington House Interactive Museum||(246) 422-4064||Speightstown|
|Barbados Concorde Experience||(246) 420-7738||5.6 mi. (9.0 km) East of St. Lawrence Gap|
|Barbados Museum and Historical Society||(246) 427-0201||St. Matthias|
|Barbados National Heroes Gallery||(246) 310-5400||Downtown Bridgetown|
|Cricket Legends Museum||(246) 227-2651||0.4 mi. (0.7 km) Northwest of Bridgetown|
|Folkstone Marine Park & Visitor Center||--||Holetown|
|Jewish Museum||(246) 436-6869||Downtown Bridgetown|
|Mallalieu Motor Collection||(246) 426-4640||Christ Church Parish|
|Sir Frank Hutson Sugar Museum||(246) 426-2421||1.5 mi. (2.4 km) East of Holetown|
|Springvale Eco-Heritage Museum||(246) 438-7011||St. Thomas Parish|
|St. Nicholas Abbey||(246) 422-8725||4.1 mi. (6.6 km) East-Northeast of Speightstown|
|Sunbury Plantation House & Museum||(246) 423-6270||6.5 mi. (10.5 km) South-Southeast of Bathsheba|
|Tyrol Cot Heritage Village||(246) 424-2074||2.0 mi. (3.3 km) North-Northeast of Bridgetown|
|Bush Hill House||(246) 228-5461||Bridgetown|
|Charles Fort||--||1.5 mi. (2.4 km) South-Southeast of Bridgetown|
|Cotton Tower Signal||--||1.3 mi. (2.2 km) South West of Bathsheba|
|(246) 433-1754||3.7 mi. (5.9 km) South West of Bathsheba|
|Garrison Savannah||--||St. Matthias|
|George Washington House||(246) 228-5461||St. Matthias|
|--||1.5 mi. (2.5 km) South-Southeast of Bridgetown|
|Grenade Hall Forest Signal Station||--||3.7 mi. (5.9 km) East of Speightstown|
|Gun Hill Signal Station||--||5.2 mi. (8.4 km) South-Southwest of Bathsheba|
|Morgan Lewis Sugar Mill||(246) 426-2421||4.8 mi. (7.8 km) East of Speightstown|
|St. Ann's Garrison||(246) 426-8982||St. Matthias|
|St. James Church||--||Holetown|
|St. John's Church||(246) 433-5599||2.5 mi. (4.1 km) Southeast of Bathsheba|
|St. Michael's Cathedral||--||Downtown Bridgetown|
|St. Peter's Church||--||Speightstown|
|St. Philip's Church||--||Church Village|
|Wildey House||(246) 426-2421||2.3 mi. (3.6 km) North-Northwest of St. Lawrence Gap|
There are four lighthouses in Barbados, each situated at a different point on the island's coast. These lighthouses served as guides for those in the shipping industry for many years, and today stand as landmarks that many visitors tour on a daily basis.
Learn more about the locations of these lighthouses, and some monuments that are imporatant to the people of Barbados by reviewing the charts which follow:
|Harrison Point Lighthouse||3.9 mi. (6.3 km) North of Speightstown|
|Needhams Point Lighthouse||1.5 mi. (2.5 km) South-Southeast of Bridgetown|
|7.0 mi. (11.3 km) East-Southeast of Bathsheba|
|South Point Lighthouse||Atlantic Shores|
|Dolphin Fountain In Heroes Square||Downtown Bridgetown|
|Emancipation Statue||2.8 mi. (4.4 km) East of Bridgetown|
|Errol Barrow Statue||Downtown Bridgetown|
|Independence Arch||Downtown Bridgetown|
|Lord Nelson's Bronze Statue||Downtown Bridgetown|
|Montefiore Fountain||Downtown Bridgetown|
|Statue Of Sir Garfield Sobers||0.5 mi. (0.9 km) North-Northwest of Bridgetown|
|Statue Of Sir Grantley Adams||1.2 mi. (1.9 km) Southeast of Bridgetown|
|Banks Brewery Visitor Centre||Brewery||(246) 227-6782||2.2 mi. (3.6 km) East of Bridgetown|
|Mount Gay Rum Distilleries and Visitor Center||Distillery||(246) 425-8757||1.0 mi. (1.7 km) North-Northwest of Bridgetown|
The landmarks of Barbados are quite diverse. Whether you're interested in military or military history, architecture, religious sites, or agricultural production, you can find something to keep your interest.
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