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Kingston City

Parish of Kingston
Kingston City
Type of Location
About Location

Kingston is the capital and largest city of Jamaica, located on the southeastern coast of the island.It faces a natural harbour protected by the Palisadoes, a long sand spit which connects the town of Port Royal and the Norman Manley International Airport to the rest of the island.In the Americas, Kingston is the largest predominantly English-speaking city south of the United States.

The local government bodies of the parishes of Kingston and St. Andrew were amalgamated by the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation Act of 1923, to form the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC). Greater Kingston, or the "Corporate Area" refers to those areas under the KSAC; however, it does not solely refer to Kingston Parish, which only consists of the old downtown and Port Royal. Kingston Parish had a population of 96,052, and St. Andrew parish had a population of 555,828 in 2001.Kingston is only bordered by Saint Andrew to the east, west and north.The geographical border for the parish of Kingston ends at East Street, West Street and North Street.

The city proper is bounded by Six Miles to the west, Stony Hill to the north, Papine to the northeast and Harbour View to the east, communities in urban and suburban Saint Andrew.Communities in rural St. Andrew such as Gordon Town, Mavis Bank, Lawrence Tavern, Mt. Airy and Bull Bay would not be described as being in Kingston city.Two parts make up the central area of Kingston: the historic but troubled Downtown, and New Kingston is served by Norman Manley International Airport and also by the smaller and primarily domestic Tinson Pen Aerodrome.

In the 1980 general elections, the democratic socialist People's National Party (PNP) government was voted out, and subsequent governments have been more market-oriented.Within a global urban era, the 1990s saw that Kingston has made efforts to modernize and develop its city structure and functions.Various organizations such as The Kingston Restoration Company, the Urban Development Corporation (UDC), the Port Authority of Jamaica, and the Port Royal Development Company, among others sought to develop the urban structure of the city.

The majority of the population of Kingston is of African descent.Large minority ethnic groups include East Indians and Chinese, who came to the country as indentured servants in the late 19th century. The Chinese occupy important roles in Jamaica's economy especially in the retail markets in Downtown Kingston and the wider metropolitan area.Europeans, mostly descending from immigrants from Germany and Great Britain as well as Christian Syrians and Lebanese form one of the most influential ethnic groups in not only Kingston, but the entire island.Though a minority ethnic group, the Lebanese were able to give Jamaica one of its prime ministers in the form of Edward Philip George Seaga.Multi-racial Jamaicans continue to form the second largest racial group and there is also a small Jewish population in the city.


How to Reach

By Air

Kingston's international airport is Norman Manley International Airport while Tinson Pen Aerodrome provides domestic services.

By Train

The now disused Kingston railway station served the Kingston to Montego Bay main line with branches from Spanish Town to Ewarton, Bog Walk to Port Antonio, Linstead to New Works and May pen to Frankfield.The station opened in 1845 and closed in October 1992 when all passenger traffic on Jamaica's railways abruptly ceased.

By Road

The St William Grant Park (Parade) in the heart of downtown Kingston is the starting point for three of Jamaica's four A roads, namely the A1 (Kingston to Lucea), the A3 (Kingston to Saint Ann's Bay) and the A4 (Kingston to Annotto Bay), while the city itself is provided with a dense network of trunk, main, secondary and minor roads.It also consists of the Highway 2000, Jamaica which runs through Portmore, Ocho Rios, and Mandeville.

By Ferries

Historically, the Kingston waterfront was Jamaica's main port with many finger piers at which freighters and passenger liners could dock.More recently, with the containerisation of freight, the port has moved to Newport West.

Key places to visit
Bob Marley Museum, National Gallery of Jamaica, Port Royal, Hope Botanical Gardens, Devon House, Lime Kay


Places to Visit

Bob Marley Museum
Open Monday to Saturday.Tours last one hour, including a 20-minute film.The first tour begins at 9:30 AM and the last tour at 4:00 PM.Filled with tons of memorabilia and Bob Marley's personal belongings, the museum is a must for any fan.The museum itself is an attraction as it was once Bob Marley's home and recording studio.The house is a preserved historical site,so even the bullet holes from the attempted murder of Bob Marley remain.He lived here until his death in 1981.Every visitor will be added to a tour upon entry.Residents $500 (Jamaican dollar),Non-residents 20 USD.

National Gallery of Jamaica

The museum features artwork by Jamaicans from throughout its history, from the native Taino Indians through the colonial period to works by modern artists.The gallery hosts its annual National Visual Arts Exhibition, which began in 1963 as a way to promote post-colonial art and to showcase the works of rising artists from Jamaica.Entrance fees are waved during the exhibition period.J$100, students and senior citizens over 65 may enter for J$50.

Port Royal

Once known as the "Richest and wickedest city in the world",Port Royal is a notorious 17th century pirate haven.The most famous pirate who operated from Port Royal was Sir Henry Morgan who plundered Spanish vessels travelling in the Caribbean.The city prospered as the pirates gathered riches,but a strong earthquake struck the area on June 7, 1692 sinking the ships in the harbor and killing many people as the earthquake moved much of the city into the sea.It has been said that the earthquake was caused by God himself to punish the evildoers of Port Royal.

Hope Botanical Gardens

The Largest Botanical Garden in the Caribbean.The garden gets its name from the man Richard Hope who helped capture Jamaica for Great Britain and was given the property to reward him for his faithfulness to the Crown Free.

Devon House

The Mansion is open Mon. to Sat. from 9:30 AM to 5 PM, the courtyard from 10 AM to 6 PM, and the gardens are open daily from 9:30 AM to 10 PM.One of the best example of Jamaican architecture,the Devon House was built by George Stiebel, the nation's first black millionaire.Much of the interior furniture is not original, but it upholds the 19th Century mansion style.The courtyard has craft shops, a few restaurants, and the most famous ice cream shop on the island.J$700 for a tour of the mansion.Entry to garden and shops is free.

Lime Kay

Beach off the coast of Port Royale must take a boat from Port Royal fisherman or the hotel to island. Island is famous as the location for final scene in The Harder they Come.Crowded party spot on the weekends with food and drink available for purchase, much more sedate and often deserted on weekdays.You can camp overnight if you pre-arrange a next-day pickup time, but be careful, as you can't exactly swim to shore.

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