Bridgetown, a popular tourist destination in Barbados, West Indies, has been added to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s (UNESCO) World Heritage Site list.
UNESCO officially handed over the honours to Bridgetown at its 35th session in Paris. After adding the site to the prestigious list, UNESCO said that Bridgetown and its Garrison are considered as ‘an outstanding example of British colonial architecture, offering a story which testifies to the spread of Great Britain’s Atlantic colonial empire.’ The addition to the list enhances the status of Bridgetown and places it in par with other world-renowned cultural sites such as the Pyramids, the Statue of Liberty and the Great Wall of China.
The city of Bridgetown is the capital and largest city of Barbados, and was formerly known as the Town of Saint Michael. It is governed as a political constituency within the national parliament. English settlers who landed here sometime during the 1620s have helped grow the city as an important financial, informatics, convention centre and cruise ship port of call in the Caribbean.
Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison site were considered for nomination after Barbados became a signatory to the UNESCO Convention for the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage Convention in 2002.
The Garrison Historic Area is situated about two miles south of Heroes Square in Bridgetown and had many relics of history such as historic horse race-track and barracks for military personnel. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the Garrison was the headquarters for members of the British West Indies Regiment in Barbados. There is also a building in this place where George Washington stayed for some time with his sick brother. The Garrison Historic Area also witnessed the official transfer of power from the British to Barbados.