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Bridgetown

Country
Barbados
State
Saint Michael
City
Bridgetown
Type of Location
Multiple
About Location

Bridgetown is the capital and largest city of the nation of Barbados.Formerly, the Town of Saint Michael, the Greater Bridgetown area is located within the parish of Saint Michael.Bridgetown is sometimes locally referred to as "The City", but the most common reference is simply "Town".The Bridgetown port, found along Carlisle Bay lies on the southwestern coast of the island.Parts of the Greater Bridgetown area (as largely encircled by the ABC Highway), sit close to the borders of the neighbouring parishes Christ Church and St. James.The Grantley Adams International Airport for Barbados, is located 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) southeast of Bridgetown city centre, and has daily flights to major cities in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada and the Caribbean.While there is no longer local municipal government, it is governed as a political constituency within the national Parliament.

The present day location of the city was established by English settlers in 1628 following a prior settlement at St. James Town.Bridgetown is a major West Indies tourist destination, and the city acts as an important financial, informatics, convention centre, and cruise ship port of call in the Caribbean region.On 25 June 2011, Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison were added as a World Heritage Site of UNESCO.

Although the island was totally abandoned or uninhabited when the British landed there, one of the few traces of indigenous pre-existence on the island was a primitive bridge constructed over the Careenage area's swamp at the centre of Bridgetown.It was suspected that this bridge was created by a people indigenous to the Caribbean known as the Arawak.Upon finding the structure the British settlers began to call what is now the Bridgetown area Indian Bridge.It is widely believed that the Arawaks were driven from Barbados to the neighbouring island of Saint Lucia, during an invasion by another people indigenous to the region known as the Caribs.Eventually after 1654 when a new bridge was constructed over the Careenage by the British, the area became known as The Town of Saint Michael and later as Bridgetown, and the final name stuck.

The earliest boundaries of Bridgetown are contained by way of an Act passed on 4 April 1660 called, "to prevent the danger which may happen by fire, in or about any of the seaport towns of the Island".The southern limit was declared to be the River (Careenage), whilst the western limit was declared to be the western boundary of St. Michael's (now St. Mary's) Churchyard, and extending in a direct line to the seaside.The town's other limits consisted of properties of certain citizens names in this statute, the location of which cannot now be determined with certainty.The boundaries were not redefined until 1822.

In the centre lies the main street of Bridgetown which is Broad Street which runs directly through the centre of the city.Broad Street passes the Parliament Buildings and serves as the centre of city's shopping area.Amongst the breathtaking landscapes, and the fresh look of the city; Barbados attracts many investors from various fields.The 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup tournament attracted thousands of visitors to the island and was a very prosperous event.The final match was played on Saturday April 28, 2007.



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How to Reach

By Air

The city has access to daily flights via the island's Airport the Sir Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA) located on the ABC Highway/Highway 7 in Seawell, Christ Church.The city of Bridgetown and New York City in the United States, were the only cities in the western hemisphere to be served by regularly scheduled British Airways Concorde flights.Additionally, the GAIA has been chosen as one of only four global display sites for the retired supersonic aircraft.The Airport is currently in the final stages of an expansion project, which will also include the construction of an aviation museum to house the retired Concorde aircraft.

By Bus

Public buses that head northward to destinations such as Holetown and Speightstown, and to some locations in St. Michael including the University of the West Indies - (Cave Hill Campus), leave from the Princess Alice Bus Terminal which lies to the west of the city centre.Buses for points east and south leave from the Fairchild Street Bus Terminal, which is on the eastern edge of the city centre, near to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH).

By Taxi

Route taxis are privately owned mini vans that are a cross between taxis and buses.They follow certain routes around the island.You can easily flag one of these down and for a low fare they'll take you pretty much anywhere.

By Road

All seven of Barbados's primary Highways begin close to the City of Bridgetown, in the Parish of Saint Michael.They all fan out to the north,south and east to other parts of the island.Driving is done of the left-hand side of the road with a speed limit of 60 km/h (37 mph) in built-up areas.The speed limit on the ABC Highway is generally 80 km/h (50 mph) except in built-up areas.Water transport is regulated by the Barbados Port Authority.

Key places to visit
Nidhe Israel Synagogue, Garrison Historic Area, Kensington Oval, Cathedral Church of Saint Michael, National Heroes Square


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Places to Visit

Nidhe Israel Synagogue

The Nidhe Israel Synagogue is currently the only synagogue situated in Bridgetown, Barbados.It also holds the distinction of being one of the oldest synagogues in the western hemisphere and a Barbados National Trust property.From the time that the synagogue was deconsecrated in 1929, it underwent numerous changes.The women's gallery that looked down on the altar was converted into a full second floor.Arches around the windows and the original floor was replaced.The building changed ownership many times as well and the Jewish cemetery outside became a dumping site.In 2008, an American architect, Michael Stoner, was trying to uncover a former rabbi's house on the premises.As he was digging, two Israeli tourists happened by and uttered the word mikvah.After excavating for three weeks, Stoner discovered a 17th century Jewish ritual bath.The Nidhe Israel Museum was also opened in 2008.

Garrison Historic Area

St. Ann's Garrison or more commonly known as "The Garrison", is a small district located in the country of Barbados.This Garrison Historic Area is situated about 2-miles east of Heroes Square in the capital-city Bridgetown, and just west of the village of Hastings in the neighbouring parish of Christ Church.At the centre is a large horse-track with grassy parade-grounds called the Garrison Savannah.The Garrison area additionally contains several buildings including barracks for military personnel.At the southern end of the district lies Highway 7 (which cuts through the area), along with Saint Ann's Fort, where the Barbados Defence Force (BDF) is based.

Kensington Oval

Is located to the west of the capital-city Bridgetown on the island of Barbados."The Oval" is one of the major sporting facilities on the island and is primarily used for cricket.Locally referred to as "The Mecca" of cricket,it has hosted many important and exciting cricket games between local, regional, and international teams during its 120+ year history.The Kensington Oval has also hosted many non-cricket events such as matches of the Barbados national football team, hockey, inter-school athletics, Miss Barbados pageants, and concert events.The ground also has a jumbo TV screen and also a jacuzzi type area, for fans to watch while relaxing in the pool (similar to Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona).Behind this is a large grassy hill for fans to have picnics on, which has a bunker underneath for the media.

Cathedral Church of Saint Michael

Is an Anglican church located on St. Michael's Row, two blocks east of National Heroes Square; at the centre of Bridgetown, Barbados.Originally consecrated in 1665, and then rebuilt in 1789 it was elevated to Cathedral status in 1825 with the appointing of Bishop Coleridge to head the newly created Diocese of Barbados and the Leeward Islands.

National Heroes Square

Is located in the capital and principal commercial centre Bridgetown, on the island-nation of Barbados.The square lies along Upper Broad Street and is on the northern shore of the Careenage ("Constitution River"), found directly in the centre of Bridgetown.The current name of National Heroes Square was adopted on 22 April 1999 and officially took effect on from 28th April, 1999.In 2009 the David Thompson-Government opened up a proposal to rename the area as "Parliament Square" and to completely redevelop and reconfigure the Square's layout.

Right Time to Visit

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