Kingstown

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Kingstown
—  City and Capital  —
Kingstown, Saint Vincent
Nickname(s): "City Of Arches"[1]
Kingstown, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Location Map
Map of Kingstown
Coordinates: 13°10′N 61°14′W / 13.167°N 61.233°W / 13.167; -61.233Coordinates: 13°10′N 61°14′W / 13.167°N 61.233°W / 13.167; -61.233
Country Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
IslandSaint Vincent
ParishSaint George Parish
Founded1722
Population (2005 est)
 • TotalIncrease 24,518
Time zoneEastern Caribbean Time Zone (ECT) (UTC-4)
Area code(s)784
 
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Kingstown
—  City and Capital  —
Kingstown, Saint Vincent
Nickname(s): "City Of Arches"[1]
Kingstown, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Location Map
Map of Kingstown
Coordinates: 13°10′N 61°14′W / 13.167°N 61.233°W / 13.167; -61.233Coordinates: 13°10′N 61°14′W / 13.167°N 61.233°W / 13.167; -61.233
Country Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
IslandSaint Vincent
ParishSaint George Parish
Founded1722
Population (2005 est)
 • TotalIncrease 24,518
Time zoneEastern Caribbean Time Zone (ECT) (UTC-4)
Area code(s)784

Kingstown is the capital, chief port, and main commercial centre of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. With a population of 25,418 (2005), Kingstown is the most populous as well as the largest settlement by surface area in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. It is the centre for the island's agricultural industry and a port of entry for tourists. The city lies within the parish of Saint George in the south-west corner of Saint Vincent. Exports include bananas which are shipped mainly to the United Kingdom, coconuts, and arrowroot. The city contains numerous shops, eating places and markets.

It is built partially on reclaimed land and is the location of many important buildings, including the Financial Complex which was built in 1991 and accommodates the Office of the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister as well as those of other departments of government, a Court Office of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court and almost all of the governmental ministries.

Contents

History

France started a settlement here shortly after 1722.

The botanical garden, conceived in 1765, is the oldest in the Western hemisphere. William Bligh, made famous from the Mutiny on the Bounty, brought seeds of the Breadfruit tree here for planting, ca 1793.[2]

Fort Charlotte in the 19th Century

Kingstown is overlooked by Fort Charlotte on Berkshire Hill, just west of town. Over 180 m above the bay, it is the major early 19th century fortification on Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. A redoubt accessed by a viaduct, it has guns pointing inland. The British garrison were to use it for holding out against the French while the Royal Navy brought reinforcements from other islands. The British had learnt a lesson when the French invaded the island in 1779, as they landed in Calliaqua, proving that any likely attack on the island would come from any location rather than directly on Kingstown itself.

The fort is named after King George III’s wife Queen Charlotte. The building work started at the turn of the century and was completed by 1806. In its heyday, it supported 600 troops and 34 guns. Some of the old barracks now house a museum with a colourful history of the Black Caribs or Garifuna depicted on its walls. The Island's women prisoners are located within the fort compound, there are between 6-12 residents at any one time. St Vincent still retains the death penalty and the nations gallows are also located nearby. Kingstown has undergone many changes over the years. During the Colonial era it gained the importance as the main control centre for the administration of the affairs of Government. That focus still remains in the post-colonial times. Central Kingstown has become overcrowded as nearly all business with Government departments can only be transacted there during regular office hours.

Recently, Kingstown is known as the site for many of the scenes from the movie Pirates of the Caribbean.

Upper Bay Street
Kingstown Bay
The Botanic Gardens

[3]

Tourism

Kingstown is a lively city made up of spectacular arches, historical churches and stone buildings thus making it a major tourist area. There is a Cruise ship facility aptly named the Cruise ship Berth which over the past few years, has generated a lot of interest among vessel operators, resulting in a well sustained level of ship calls and passenger numbers.

Main Sites

Transportation

Bus

Minibus

Kingstown is made up of many streets, lanes and roads. Located in the city is a Bus terminal built in 1988 where civilians commute with omnibuses and minibuses ("vans") all across the island and since all the highways lead to the city it makes this much easier and more convenient. Outside than private transport, minibuses are the most utilised means of transport in the country. They are a lively way of getting around and a good introduction to the most popular recent tunes as well as a mode of transport.

Omnibus

Omnibuses are similar to minibuses in the routes that they travel. They however have a higher capacity of passengers they can carry.

Private taxi

Private taxis mainly provide transport to tourists or visitors but may offer their services to civilians. They can be found parked at outside different locations throughout the city and are also available at airport or at any hotel lobby.

Ferry

Ferries run daily between Saint Vincent and the Grenadine Islands and dock at Grenadine Wharf. The Grenadine ferries start their journeys at the Grenadines Dock on the waterfront in Kingstown, from where it is possible to make the journey down through the islands by boat all the way to Grenada. There are many ferries each day for Bequia but no ferries put in at Mustique. Ferries are reasonably priced and fairly regular.Fast ferries are now available that allow for faster commute time at a low cost.

Education

Of the 77 schools located in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 18 are situated in Kingstown, 8 primary, 9 secondary and 1 college- The Kingstown Technical College. Several of the schools located there were established over 100 years ago such as the Saint Vincent Grammar School (est. 1908) and the Saint Vincent Girls' High School (est. 1911). Also located in the city is an Open Campus of The University of the West Indies.

Financial Complex

Suburbs

Gallery

Notes

External links