Jamaica is most famous for its white sand beaches, crystal clear turquoise water, lush green tropical rainforests, and the rolling mountains. But there is a whole other side of the island, a side that showcases Jamaica’s rich cultural history. These historical sites can also enlighten the new generation and visitors about the country’s colorful past.
Let’s take a look at 5 of Jamaica’s historical sites that will show you the Jamaica that existed a few generations ago.
National Heroes Park
Located in Kingston, the National Heroes Park is more well-known for the shrine of monuments dedicated to Jamaica’s national heroes and has quite a few historical connections to the country. This park used to be one of the most popular regions on the island where many people would gather for sporting events and entertainment, including cycling events and cricket matches. In 1838, it was the site of the grand celebrations which marked the start of apprenticeship. More recently, it became the home of the Cenotaph which honors all those who died in World War I and II.
This historical building featuring 19th-century architecture is situated in St. Andrew parish and is a former domestic mansion which has been spectacularly restored. Devon House is home to beautifully designed rooms and a mixture of French, Caribbean, and English antique furniture. This exquisite area is not just a historic site; it is also an area of attraction and relaxation. Visiting Devon House will help you to discover Jamaica’s rich history while also providing an unparalleled shopping experience, where you can buy authentic Jamaican crafts and the famous Devon House ice cream.
Spanish Town Square
Spanish Town, which was originally named Villa de la Vega, and then St. Jago de la Vega, was Jamaica’s first capital town. The English established it after overthrowing the Spanish settlers, and now Spanish Town has the title of having the most gorgeous Georgian architecture in the whole of the West Indies. Taking a tour of the square will reveal many historical relics from the past centuries, including King’s House, which was the official residence of the then-Governor of Jamaica, the courthouse, and the House of Assembly.
Morant Bay Courthouse
Standing as an essential reminder of the most upsetting events in the island’s past, the Morant Bay Courthouse is located in the parish of St. Thomas and was the scene of the well-known Morant Bay Rebellion. It was also the site where Paul Bogle, the national hero, was hanged for his part in the uprising. Unfortunately, most of the main building was destroyed by a 2007 fire, leaving just the statue of Paul Bogle and the brick walls. Recently, the Morant Bay Courthouse underwent refurbishing, and it is now a historical site that is used to help people understand the rebellion and the roles which Bogle and the others who helped him had in the uprising.
Rose Hall Great House
Located on the hills in Montego Bay, on the Rose Hill Estate is the famous Rose Hall Great House, which is not just a beautiful Georgian-style building, it also features one of the most awe-inspiring views over the Caribbean Sea. This house gained infamy due to the legend of its former owner, Annie Palmer, who was a cruel slave master. A tour of the Great House includes a visit to Annie Palmer’s tomb, as well as the recounting of the stories told by former guests who say that Palmer’s ghost still haunts the property today. There are also snack counters and gift shops.
Jamaica is full of culture and history, and there are so many places to explore that will give you a unique insight into this vibrant past. The above are just some excellent starting points to introduce you to the island’s history.