3 Best Heritage Sites to Visit in Grenada
When arriving at a place called ‘Spice Island’ you will truly find deep joy exploring a place where you can smell the nutmeg in the air, feel the culture in every conversation, and sense hundreds of years of history above the unique underwater wonders of the most incredible coral reefs in the Caribbean on your next sustainable trip.
Welcome to Grenada (and the Grenadines) an eco-friendly stretch of islands where your deepest desire for connection, sustainable exploration, and regeneration is met with adventure. It could be called the Fruit Island for the luscious bounty growing in the landscape of green hills, or Heritage Isle, for its historical fortified structures and districts from the 17th and 18th century. Then again, you could just call it an escape from the everyday, for the plethora of idyllic sandy strands.
Besides the 3 incredible heritage sites on UNESCO’s tentative list in Grenada, some “must see” attractions include an underwater sculptor park, ‘Grand Anse’ (Grenada’s main resort area), and the River Antoine Rum Distillery, which has produced rum since 1785. Take a stroll back in time to Fort George – Grenada’s oldest fort where the experience is limitless and responsible travel is met with immersive and dynamic adventure. Come, take a tour with us and see how some of the most amazing heritage in the world is easily accessible from any US city today.
St. George Historic District
The urban pattern of the Historical District of St. George’s consists of a planned part and an unplanned part, physically and visually partly separated by the ridge of a mountain on which the main landmarks of the town have been erected (Churchstreet) and as such has evolved as the spine of St George’s. The planned part of the town was laid out on a grid system with a central square and has developed predominantly over the course of the eighteenth century. The present-day appearance of this part of St George’s is to a large extent due to a municipal law that was passed after fires had razed the town in 1771 and 1775, requiring buildings to be made of brick or masonry with clay tile roofs and laid out as detached units instead of row houses. The original urban plan has remained intact since then and a large body of Georgian architecture adjusted to Caribbean circumstances has been preserved. The unplanned part has been shaped by the form of the natural harbour of St George’s and the contour lines of the surrounding hills and developed from the early nineteenth century onwards. Historic buildings in the unplanned part of the St. George’s Historic District are predominantly erected in wood in a vernacular Caribbean style. The urban pattern and architectural styles of the St. George’s Historic District add up to present a blend of cultural features of outstanding universal value.
St. George Fortified System
Although a fort from the period of initial European settlement was already in existence the true start of the establishment of the St George’s Fortified System was arguably the construction of Fort George from 1706 until 1710. Over the course of the eighteenth century the defence system around St George’s gradually evolved on the ridges of the hills that enclose St. George’s and its natural harbour like a giant amphitheatre. In its heydays the system consisted of eight forts, designed to mitigate internal Amerindian attacks and slave uprisings, as well as external European rival invasions. At the time of their establishment, each fort progressively incorporated the latest design concepts to facilitate advancing technological achievements of the period, showing today the development of French .and British military engineering adjusted to Grenadian circumstances. The three major forts of the system have been preserved to the present day. Fort George is associated with all the periods of Grenada’s history up to its contemporary period, as the execution of Prime Minister Maurice Bishop in October 1983 was carried out at Fort George. The fort currently houses the Police Headquarters and Police Training School. Fort Frederick is restored and is open to the public. Fort Matthew was converted into a lunatic asylum to serve the entire Windward Island in 1880 and was abandoned in 1987 when a new asylum at Mt. Gay was opened. It is currently in a bad state of repair. The other military structures have either disappeared or fallen to ruins.
Grenadines Island Group
The Grenadines are a group of 35 small islands located between Grenada and St. Vincent in the Windward Islands of the Lesser Antilles. They stretch over a distance of 90 km from the Island of London Bridge in the south to Bequia in the north. The natural boundary of the site approximates to the Grenadine Shelf, which is some 50m deep and falls off steeply in the Tobago Trough. Geographically, the area lies along the interface of the Caribbean and South American Tectonic plates. Several active undersea mounts (e.g. Kick’em Jenny) attest to the on-going movement of these plates.
The international boundary between Grenada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines runs east to west across the bank between Petit Martinique and Petit St. Vincent. Nonetheless, the links among all the Grenadine Islands on both sides of the boundary are historically strong and continue to be active. Fishing, informal trade, tourism and island social life proceed with little attention to the boundary. In both countries ‘mainlanders’ concede that the connections among the Grenadine islands are in most cases stronger than those with the main island. Efforts by the two countries to conserve coral reef biodiversity can be seen as contributing to reef biodiversity conservation at the regional level.
So whether you’re focused on discovering the natural heritage of the reefs across one of the 30+ Grenadine islands, time travel to the 17th century by visiting a fort, or re-enact some of your favorite Black Sails scenes in the St. George Historic district, Grenada is a perfect destination for your next sustainable travel destination in the tropics. Would you like to a custom tailored trip to Grenada? E-mail us for a personalized itinerary absolutely free at firstname.lastname@example.org