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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Center map

unesco logo

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



34 Responses to “Travel photo – Brimstone Hill Fortress, Saint Kitts”

  1. InsideJourneys 2 February 2012 0732 #

    Brimstone Hill, eh? What a name!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 2 February 2012 1031 #

      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 0759 #

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

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 2 February 2012 0952 #

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

  3. jade 2 February 2012 0954 #

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

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 2 February 2012 1035 #

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

  4. Muza-chan 2 February 2012 1004 #

    Interesting place

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 2 February 2012 1052 #

      Interesting – and such a stunning setting.

  5. Vera Marie Badertscher 2 February 2012 1252 #

    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 1630 #

      Interesting that, Vera. Seems we never learn…

  6. Jackie Smith 2 February 2012 1817 #

    A most interesting photo and topic!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 8 February 2012 2251 #

      Thanks 🙂

  7. Leigh 2 February 2012 2021 #

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

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 8 February 2012 2249 #

      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 2055 #

    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 2246 #

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

  9. Laurel 2 February 2012 2239 #

    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 2247 #

      A matter for reflection, at the very least…

  10. Cathy Sweeney 2 February 2012 2315 #

    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 1405 #

      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 0033 #

    Not exactly your luxury, Caribbean hotel.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 8 February 2012 2252 #

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

  12. Annie - FootTracker 3 February 2012 0514 #

    Are visitors allowed into their buildings?

    This, does not look like a happy place o_O

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 6 February 2012 1214 #

      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 1208 #

    It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site? Strange indeed

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 8 February 2012 2253 #

      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 2254 #

      So do I. And the older, the better…

  15. Nichole 3 February 2012 2355 #

    Super interesting. And beautiful

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 8 February 2012 2243 #

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

  16. Catwoman 5 February 2012 0004 #

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

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 8 February 2012 2240 #

      Quite an impressive engineering feat, yes.

  17. Andrew Graeme Gould 11 February 2012 2030 #

    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 1847 #

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

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