St. George's, Bermuda, is a storybook town, with narrow alleys winding past historic buildings, and charming houses with gardens and whitewashed fences. Founded in 1612, it was Bermuda's first capital.
King's Square, the heart of town, has shops and historic buildings. If you're there on a Wednesday or Saturday, you can see the town crier at noon as he rings his bell and booms the news of the town. Often, a "criminal" will be brought forward and punished in the stocks, pillory and whipping post. You can imprison yourself in the stocks and have your picture taken.
Pick up a self-guided walking tour map at the tourist office in King's Square. The tour takes you by the Old State House—built in 1620, it is the oldest building on the islands; the pulpit and cemetery of St. Peter's Church, said to be the oldest Anglican place of worship in the Western Hemisphere; the Town Hall, built in 1782; and Bridge House.
The Tucker House, located at 5 Water St., is a magnificent 18th-century mansion that contains furniture, silver and jewelry from one of Bermuda's most influential families. Phone 441-297-0545. http://www.bnt.bm.
Right next to the house is Barber's Alley, which commemorates ex-slave Joseph Hayne Rainey. He escaped to Bermuda and worked as a barber before returning to South Carolina after the Civil War to become the first African-American elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
The Bermuda National Trust Museum resides in a building from 1700 located in St. George's (32 Duke of York St.). Also, the St. George's Historical Society Museum, Printery & Garden has a letter from George Washington and occupies a building from 1700 that has rooms filled with period furniture and other artifacts. 3 Featherbed Alley (at Duke of Kent Street). Phone 441-297-0423.
Be sure to look for the Unfinished Church, the shell of what was to have been a magnificent cathedral. Other sights include Somers Gardens (watch for brilliantly colored chameleons), Featherbed Alley Printery (contains a working 18th-century press), Emma Ingham Denouk's Art Studio and the restored Somers Wharf area (now a shopping and restaurant complex).
Just outside of St. George's is Fort St. Catherine. The current structure was built in the mid-1800s, but fortifications have been located there since the early 1600s. Phone 441-297-1920.
Several beaches are located near St. George's, if you want to enjoy some shore time before or after sightseeing.
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