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|St. George's, Grenada|
|St. George's, Grenada|
The city is a popular Caribbean tourist destination that attracts thousands of tourists, cruise ships, and celebrities. The city has significantly developed in recent years, while preserving its history, culture, and natural beauty. The city is home of St. George’s University School of Medicine. The main exports are cocoa bean cacao, nutmeg, and mace spice.
It has a moderate tropical climate that ensures the success of spice production. Nutmegs are the most plentiful crop, followed by an array of such spices as cocoa, mace, cloves, vanilla, cinnamon and ginger.
St. George's was built by the French in 1650. This is made apparent by the many red roofed houses in the city. On the 1 November 1775 there was a fire in the town of St. George's known as the great fire of St George's. After the great fire of 1771, most of the boarding houses on Granby Street were moved to Gouyave.
The Tikal was the first art cater shop in Grenada and it was opened in December 1959. In 2004, St. George's and the rest of Grenada was severely battered by Hurricane Ivan. The hurricane left significant destruction across the island and crippled much of the island's infrastructure. It was estimated that some 90% of the island's homes had sustained damage and the nutmeg trees, which are key to Grenada's economy, were devastated. A year later with the help of international donors (Canada, the United States, China, Venezuela, and the European Union) Grenada had experienced a significant turn around in rebuilding efforts. By 2007, Grenada had participated as planned in the hosting of the 2007 Cricket World Cup.
Though St. George's was discovered by Christopher Columbus on this third voyage in 1498, the island was relatively neglected until 1650, when it was purchased by the governor of Martinique. The French began their colonization with a series of skirmishes that virtually exterminated the island's native Carib population. The survivors were pushed north to Le Morne des Sauterurs, where rather than surrender they jumped off the cliff to the jagged rocks below. Today the site of the Carib defeat is known as "Carib's Leap."
Carnival takes place the second week in August. This festival celebrates the emancipation of slaves. The Sunday night celebrations continue into the early morning hours on Monday. On Monday a carnival pageant is held on stage at Queen's Park, where costumes, themes and calypso queens are judged. On Tuesday, St. George's vibrates to the sounds of the calypso steel bands as they parade through the streets.
The average temperature is about 30 °C (86 °F). There are two seasons: the 'dry' season is from January to May and the 'rainy' season lasts for the rest of the year. There are short spells of rain in the dry period but they last no more than 5 minutes or so. Gray clouds over the mountains are the first sign of rain.
Nutmeg and mace come from the fruit of the aromatic Myrristica fragrans tree. The alien tree was adopted as from March 3, 1967  to the Spice Island. The tree is an evergreen with dark green leaves and small yellow flowers, and grows up to 12 meters tall. It starts bearing fruit after seven or eight years and continues to do so for up to 40 years. The fruit looks like an apricot and when ripe, slit to reveal a walnut-sizes seed. Covering the shell of the seed are lacy, red-orange strips, which are mace, and inside the shell is the seed itself - nutmeg. It is valued as a cure all for digestive, liver and skin problems and it is believed that it has aphrodisiac qualities as well. It is used extensively for cooking to enhance the flavor of cakes, soups, desserts, drinks and sauces.
This comes from the inner bark of the cinnamon tree (Cinnamonum verum). Whole or ground, it is a popular household spice internationally. It is used to flavor beverages and cakes.
This dried flavored flower bud, whole or ground (Syzygium aromaticum) is used at home to season hams, sausages, meats, mincemeat pies, fish, turtle preserves and pickles.
From June to December, cuttings from the tops of cane are laid in holes about five inches deep by five feet square then covered with soil. As the cane grows taller, fertilizer is used. Between planting and harvesting, bananas, corn, peas, potatoes, and other crops are cultivated. January to May, the ripe cane are cut and delivered to the mill to be ground. Boiling and clarifying the cane juice is the next operation. The juice is strained after grinding and then taken to the clarifying copper to be boiled. (Wood coal is the main source fuel). Lime is added to speed up the operation. The liquid sugar is put into coolers for about 14 hours. The molasses is then drained off and taken to the still house to be made into rum.
Private boats and yachts can complete customs and immigration processing in St. George's and Prickly Bay, Lance Aux Epines as well as in Carriacou. Travelers passing through Grenada are required to have a passport. Those whose travel involves stay over in other countries, should check on entry requirements for those countries.
One of the central mountains of Grenada's interior range, Mt. Qua Qua rises to a height of over 2,370 ft (722 m). The trail to and along its ridge passes by Grand Etang Lake and then rises up to the higher altitudes, cooler temperatures, and elfin mountain forests of the upper slopes. Hiking the trail takes about an hour and a half, with frequently steep and sometimes slippery sections that require some caution.
So named because it passes by seven of Grand Etang's mountain waterfalls, which are nestled in the emerald vegetation of the rain forest. The trail takes about three hours, even for experienced hikers.
The tower of St. George's Cathedral was built in 1818. The interior of the church is painted in bright colors.
St. George's Anglican Church was built in 1825 and a clock was later added in 1904 which plays the Westminster chimes on the hour.
Located on the promontory to the west of the harbor is Fort George. Built in 1705 by the French, many of the buildings are now used by the police. Much of the fort is still intact and open to visitors. However, the buildings are very dilapidated, from a combination of Hurricane damage and neglect, and there is little or no information within the fort itself. There's good view from the battlements though.
The Grenada National Museum is housed in French barracks from 1704 and former prison. The building was also used as the island's first hotel. The museum displays a variety of historical items including Carib and Arawak artifacts, sugar processing machines and equipment, whaling industry items, and Josephine Bonaparte's marble bath.