Exploring the Historical Side of Jamaica

As the third largest island in the Caribbean Sea, with a coastline that stretches some 635 miles, there is something intangible that draws so many visitors to Jamaica. Luxury hotels all around the island may have something to do with it, and it is renowned as one of the most warm and friendly places in the Caribbean.

But not only does the area boast many stunning beaches, beautiful blue waters and a lush interior (with six mountain ranges and one hundred and twenty rivers), it also has a very rich history. If you stay in any of the Jamaica luxury hotels, staff can point you in the direction of the many historical attributes of this island nation.

A Brief History

Inhabited as early as 4000 BC, the island was discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1494, and came under Spanish rule. Later the British ruled the island, and it was only in 1962 it became the free nation of Jamaica. Luxury hotels near any of the main cities will put you within reach of any number of National Heritage locations. In Kingston, for example, you should stop and stroll through National Heroes Park to see the many statues raised to the various important figures of the island. From there, head into the city and to Headquarters House, which was originally known as Hibbert House, and was built by one of the wealthy traders in the 1700s. It is designed in a classical Georgian style, and now is home to the National Trust. Stroll to the mouth of the Kingston Harbour and visit Port Royal, in the Kingston Parrish. This harbour was the location of the centre of the shipping industry of the Caribbean in the 17th century, though this was later negated by natural disasters and commerce, moving further to Kingston proper.

Not too far from Kingston is the parish of St Andrews. This parish is well known for its commerce and as being the centre of a lot of the well-known popular culture of Jamaica. Luxury hotels in the area will give you easy access to famous places like the birthplace of Bob Marley, the University of the West Indies, Vale Royal, and the residence of the Prime Minister, the latter of which are historic properties. In recent times, St Andrews is known as the home of singers Shaggy and Sean Paul, both of whom have made a splash on the US music scene. Once you get your fill of music, pay a visit to Devon House, built in 1881 – this house is renowned for being built by the island’s first black millionaire. From there, you could take a stroll through the Hope Botanical Gardens and soak in the cafĂ© culture prevalent in the relaxed atmosphere of the island.

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