St George's

Overview

Introduction

The sights of Grenada's capital city and tourist center can be seen in a day. St. George's is one of the prettiest cities in the Caribbean, wrapped around a horseshoe-shaped harbor and set against a background of deep green hills. Narrow cobblestoned streets are lined with a variety of colorful buildings: pastel structures typical of the Caribbean, white Georgian houses (the town was named after King George III) with wrought-iron balconies and red-tile roofs.

The Esplanade is the portion of St. George's that fronts the Caribbean Sea. Market Square, the center of activity there, is the departure point for many buses and tours. Saturday morning is an especially busy time, a must-see if you're in town then. Up the hill at the corner of Young and Monckton streets is the Grenada National Museum (open Monday-Saturday). The museum occupies an old French army barracks built in 1704. It contains a good selection of Arawak and Carib artifacts—and such oddities as Josephine Bonaparte's marble bathtub. A short stroll from the museum is St. George's Methodist Church. Built in 1820, it's the oldest in the capital. Just west of the Methodist Church is the Roman Catholic Cathedral, built in 1884, and St. George's Parish Anglican Church, built in 1825. Unfortunately, the latter is still closed because of damage sustained from Hurricane Frances in 2004.

The Sendall Tunnel is a shortcut between the Esplanade and the Carenage, the inner part of St. George's horseshoe-shaped harbor. (The tunnel was a technological feat when it was constructed in 1895: It's 12 ft/3.5 m high and 350 ft/105 m long and cuts through a hill.) The Carenage is guarded by Fort George, which was built in 1705. The fort's significance as a military stronghold continued until the late 20th century. In 1983, Prime Minister Bishop was executed and many of his supporters massacred there, events that would lead to the U.S. intervention. It's now headquarters of the Royal Grenadian Police.

The best views of the port are found at another fort—Fort Frederick, which sits atop Richmond Hill northeast of the city. Built by the French in the late 1700s, Fort Frederick was the headquarters of the People's Revolutionary Army (the group that executed Maurice Bishop) during the fighting of October 1983. From the fort you can see, in the center of the harbor, the statue known as Christ of the Deep. The statue was a gift from a cruise line whose ship burned and sank just outside the harbor in 1961. It stands as a thank-you to residents for their rescue efforts. Today, the ship is a popular dive site.

In the suburb of St. Paul's on the lower slopes of Richmond Hill are two beautiful gardens—the Botanical Gardens, established in 1886 on the site of a former sugar mill, and the privately owned Bay Gardens. Both are ideal places for a quiet stroll or picnic lunch.

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