Historical landmarks in the Capital of Barbados

barbados capital bridgetown

Before our tour of the Capital of Barbados, get ready to make a prediction: Which landmark was built first?  

Nelson Statue in Barbados or Nelson column in London?  

You probably already know this, but before I answer, here are a few more tidbits about the capital of Barbados.

First off, we're not talking New York.  Picture a pint-sized version of an old English city.

Bridgetown, Barbados Capital

Let's start with a few things you will love:

·    Food--Yummy! Fresh flying fish, shepherd’s pie, beef stew...be sure to try locally grown fruits from city vendors.  You  won't find tastier treats anywhere!   

·    People--Friendly and easy going.  Feel free to ask for directions if you get lost.

·    Shopping-- Can be a little pricey for imported goods, but be sure to check out duty free shopping where available.

·    Nightlife-- The Boatyard and ship inn are both within walking distance of the Capital of Barbados.

Barbados Capital City

barbados capital boardwalk

Careenage Boardwalk 

I used to love walking on the boardwalk on Sunday evenings.  

Of course it wasn't always so nice. The planks were often broken.

As a kid I enjoyed jumping from plank to plank over the open water!  

Luckily it's since been rebuilt :-)

The boardwalk runs along what Bajans call the careenage and is just across the street from Trafalgar Square.

Back in the day, this was an important area for ship trading between the islands and was lined with warehouses?

Shipmen tilted ships in a "careened" position to clean or scrape them.  Hence the name "Careenage".

The old warehouses?  They have all be turned into shops and restaurants, but the area still maintains a quaint feeling.

barbados capital nelson statue

Nelson Statue National Heroes Square

Okay, so Nelson Statue predates Nelson Column in London by 36 years. ;)  

It was erected as a celebration of Nelson's victory in the battle of Trafalgar.

Okay, Let's take a walk back to the Careenage.  (It's literally across the street)

Since the end of major inter-island traffic, the careenage area is now home to yachts that line the docking area.

It's not a fast flowing body of water, and is more like a bay than a river, even though Constitution river feeds it.  

Downside: Sadly, the Careenage can be a bit smelly at times.  

barbados capital careenage

Bridgetown Careenage

Don't let this put you off though, most days it's perfectly fine.   

Plus there's so much cool stuff to see and do in Bridgetown, you have to check it out..

Just be wary of driving in Bridgetown..  (I wrote a page on Rental Cars Barbados with tips on driving on the island)

These historical landmarks in the capital of Barbados are literally within 100 feet of each other.  

It's our little version of Trafalgar square in London.

bridgetown barbados bridge

Independence Arch

Independence arch was built in the late '80s to celebrate Barbados' independence from Britain.  

It arches over Chamberlain bridge which in turn crosses over the Careenage river.  

The chamberlain bridge was originally called "Indian Bridge" and was built by the first inhabitants of Barbados: The Arawak Indians.  

It was rebuilt in 1654.  This bridge is where Bridgetown gets its name.

Barbados Parliament Building

capital of Barbados parliament building

Parliament Building

The parliament buildings were established in 1639.  Barbados boasts the oldest parliament in the Western Hemisphere.  Unfortunately the oldest building burnt down in the Bridgetown fires and has since been rebuilt

Barbados Trafalgar Square Fountain

capital of barbados fountain

Fountain in National Heroes Square

The fountain was erected to celebrate the installation of running water in Bridgetown in 1861.  Funny enough, it was Bridgetown residents that donated the money to have the fountain built.

Queens Park-walking distance from the capital of Barbados

capital of Barbados queens park


And then there's Queens park, originally called King's House.  This was where the commanding British Troops in the West Indies stayed in the 1800's.  It was opened to the public in 1909 after the succession of Queen Victoria.  

It's one of my favorite spots and is right next to Harrison College, my High School.  We used to slip through the fence to hang out in Queens Park at lunch time! :-)

And there's your tour of the Capital of Barbados!  Vibrant, colorful, and full of character!  Be sure to check back, I'll be adding more pages on Bridgetown nightlife, shopping and more.

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