The Caribbean island of St Kitts was tossed back and forth between England and France in what seemed an interminable battle for most of the 17th and 18th centuries. The island was quite heavily fortified and Brimstone Hill is an exceptionally well preserved historical fort. It’s a monument to brilliant British engineering – and to the work of slaves.
Illogically, the slave trade in the Americas seems more gruesome than that of, say Ancient Egypt. Why? Simply because it’s nearer in time, a time when people should have known better? I don’t know. Just that … I’m a bit ambivalent about this particular UNESCO World Heritage site.
Brimstone Hill Fort National Park, St Kitts, Federation of St Christopher (St Kitts) and Nevis
Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Here are more UNESCO World Heritage sites around the world.
Brimstone Hill, eh? What a name!
Isn’t it, though? I haven’t been able to find out the reason for the name. Meant to put the fear of God into the enemies, perhaps…
Gruesome construction, though I’m not quite updated on how and for what what it was used.
Thanks, good point. I’ll add a bit more info in the post.
Really interesting… so are visitors allowed to walk around it?
Yes indeed, for a small fee well worth it. Historically interesting and wonderful views.
Interesting – and such a stunning setting.
I’m fascinated by the different architectural forms of forts and this one is quite interesting. Have you ever seen the one in the Tortugas south of Key West? Another interesting thing is how many forts never really saw battle. Loads of money spent for protection against an enemy that never showed up!
Interesting that, Vera. Seems we never learn…
A most interesting photo and topic!
At least the fort has an amazing setting. I wonder how many slaves it took to build it.
It is a beautiful setting, isn’t it.. Generations of slaves, I’m sure. The construction took 100 years or so.
Very cool! I love all the fortresses on Caribbean islands. I can only imagine what it was like in the day when they were actually protecting against pirates!
I could picture Captain Jack Sparrow running about the place, yeah…
I’m also torn when UNESCO World Heritage Sites are built with slaves, especially when it’s more recent as you’ve indicated this one is.
A matter for reflection, at the very least…
You pose a very interesting question, Sophie. Such history at Brimstone Hill. I think it’s certainly worthy of being a UNESCO site as long as the slavery history is out in the open. Is that part of the history not adequately mentioned?
Fair point. UNESCO is relatively open about it, saying in the brief description that it’s built by African slaves.
Not exactly your luxury, Caribbean hotel.
Might make an interesting place to camp out under the stars, though. Probably ghosts and everything…
Are visitors allowed into their buildings?
This, does not look like a happy place o_O
It’s been quite a few years since we were there, but as far as I can remember, we were allowed to walk quite freely around the place.
It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site? Strange indeed
UNESCO does make some, shall we say interesting, choices.
Brimstone is a unique fortress architecturally. I do find the history surrounding fortresses quite interesting.
So do I. And the older, the better…
Super interesting. And beautiful
Yeah, the Caribbean has a surprisingly interesting (and brutal) history.
As an architect I’m always amazed from the greatness of these fortresses. Such a gorgeous engineering!
Quite an impressive engineering feat, yes.
All of these islands must be well worth seeing, Sophie. Interesting what you’ve said about slavery in history, and I’d go along with that. A pressing need is to get rid of modern day slavery, and I must mention the great investigative work being undertaken on that right now by CNN International.
I’ve heard great things about St. Kitts! Great post!