Travel photo – Brimstone Hill Fortress, Saint Kitts

Fortress at Brimstone Hill seen from above
Brimstone Hill Fortress

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

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Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Here are more UNESCO World Heritage sites around the world.

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  1. InsideJourneys 2 February 2012 at 0732 - Reply

    Brimstone Hill, eh? What a name!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 2 February 2012 at 1031 - Reply

      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…

  2. ItalianNotes 2 February 2012 at 0759 - Reply

    Gruesome construction, though I’m not quite updated on how and for what what it was used.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 2 February 2012 at 0952 - Reply

      Thanks, good point. I’ll add a bit more info in the post.

  3. jade 2 February 2012 at 0954 - Reply

    Really interesting… so are visitors allowed to walk around it?

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 2 February 2012 at 1035 - Reply

      Yes indeed, for a small fee well worth it. Historically interesting and wonderful views.

  4. Muza-chan 2 February 2012 at 1004 - Reply

    Interesting place

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 2 February 2012 at 1052 - Reply

      Interesting – and such a stunning setting.

  5. Vera Marie Badertscher 2 February 2012 at 1252 - Reply

    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!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 2 February 2012 at 1630 - Reply

      Interesting that, Vera. Seems we never learn…

  6. Jackie Smith 2 February 2012 at 1817 - Reply

    A most interesting photo and topic!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 8 February 2012 at 2251 - Reply

      Thanks 🙂

  7. Leigh 2 February 2012 at 2021 - Reply

    At least the fort has an amazing setting. I wonder how many slaves it took to build it.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 8 February 2012 at 2249 - Reply

      It is a beautiful setting, isn’t it.. Generations of slaves, I’m sure. The construction took 100 years or so.

  8. Michael Figueiredo 2 February 2012 at 2055 - Reply

    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!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 8 February 2012 at 2246 - Reply

      I could picture Captain Jack Sparrow running about the place, yeah…

  9. Laurel 2 February 2012 at 2239 - Reply

    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.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 8 February 2012 at 2247 - Reply

      A matter for reflection, at the very least…

  10. Cathy Sweeney 2 February 2012 at 2315 - Reply

    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?

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 3 February 2012 at 1405 - Reply

      Fair point. UNESCO is relatively open about it, saying in the brief description that it’s built by African slaves.

  11. Dick Jordan 3 February 2012 at 0033 - Reply

    Not exactly your luxury, Caribbean hotel.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 8 February 2012 at 2252 - Reply

      Might make an interesting place to camp out under the stars, though. Probably ghosts and everything…

  12. Annie - FootTracker 3 February 2012 at 0514 - Reply

    Are visitors allowed into their buildings?

    This, does not look like a happy place o_O

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 6 February 2012 at 1214 - Reply

      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.

  13. Denise 3 February 2012 at 1208 - Reply

    It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site? Strange indeed

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 8 February 2012 at 2253 - Reply

      UNESCO does make some, shall we say interesting, choices.

  14. Brimstone is a unique fortress architecturally. I do find the history surrounding fortresses quite interesting.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 8 February 2012 at 2254 - Reply

      So do I. And the older, the better…

  15. Nichole 3 February 2012 at 2355 - Reply

    Super interesting. And beautiful

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 8 February 2012 at 2243 - Reply

      Yeah, the Caribbean has a surprisingly interesting (and brutal) history.

  16. Catwoman 5 February 2012 at 0004 - Reply

    As an architect I’m always amazed from the greatness of these fortresses. Such a gorgeous engineering!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 8 February 2012 at 2240 - Reply

      Quite an impressive engineering feat, yes.

  17. Andrew Graeme Gould 11 February 2012 at 2030 - Reply

    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.

  18. Green Global Travel 13 April 2012 at 1847 - Reply

    I’ve heard great things about St. Kitts! Great post!

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