One of the most picturesque cities in the Caribbean, Grenada’s capital, St Georges is well worth exploring. Put on comfy shoes and wander along the steep and narrow cobblestone streets to discover many fine examples of French and English colonial architecture. Stroll beside the magnificent harbour, encompassing the Lagoon formed from a sunken crater lake and the adjacent Carenage; view the well preserved Georgian buildings which house the Houses of Parliament.
The hustle and bustle of the Carenage, is a fascinating mixture of sights and sounds. Inter-island boats off loading and taking on cargo, fishermen bringing in their catches, vendors plying their trade, pleasure boats boarding passengers for coastal cruises, busy restaurants and businesses. It’s a blend of commercial and leisure activities against a background of lilting accents and warm sunshine.
To get an insight into the history of this vibrant island, pay a visit to the National Museum on Monckton Street. Built by the French in 1704 as an army barracks and later used by the British as a female prison until the late 19th century, the building then housed a series of hotels before opening as the National Museum in 1976.
On display is a diverse collection of artifacts tracing the main periods of Grenada’s history including the fascinating Pre-Columbian Period or Carib Section when Grenada was inhabited by the Ciboney, Arawak and Carib peoples prior to European discovery; the Colonial Period, or Plantation Economy, when slaves were brought from Africa and later, after the abolition of slavery in 1838, indentured labour from Malta, Portugal and East India; through the post-colonial era to Independence and the present.
Early conflicts and historic battles, rebellions and revolution, international intervention and a return to parliamentary rule……….it’s the Grenada story under one roof.
For spectacular panoramic views visit the Forts surrounding the city including: Fort Frederick a bastion type fort on Richmond Hill built in 1791 and the site of several historic events; Fort Matthew, the largest fort on the island; and Fort George built in 1706 which, while being a great vantage point for sightseers, is also the location of the tragic result of political disturbance in 1983.
Plan to do your walking tour of St. Georges and visit to the Museum in the morning, as it can get stiflingly hot by midday. The Museum is not airconditioned. Because of their elevation, the Forts make for cooler viewing and wonderful sunsets!