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Bridgetown, Barbados

July 28th, 2006 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 
 

The City of Bridgetown, population 5,928 (1990) metropolitan area 110,000 (2000), formerly the Town of Saint Michael, is the capital city of the island nation of Barbados. Geographically the Bridgetown port is located at 13°7′N 59°37′W, on the southwestern coast of the island along the Caribbean Sea. The city is within the parish of Saint Michael, and shares a part of the border with the parish of Christ Church and the Parish of St. James.

The site of the present day city was founded by the British in 1628. Bridgetown is a major West Indies tourist destination, and the city acts as an important financial, informatics and convention centre in the Caribbean region.

History

Although the island was totally abandoned or uninhabited when the British landed there, one of the few traces of an indigenous tribe's pre-existence on the island was a very primitive bridge constructed over the Careenage ("Constitution River") in the centre of Bridgetown.

It is suspected that this bridge was created by a people indigenous to the Caribbean known as the Arawak Indians. Upon finding the structure the British settlers began to call what is now the Bridgetown area, Indian Bridge.

It is widely believed that the Arawaks were driven from Barbados to the neighbouring island of Saint Lucia, during an invasion by another people indigenous to the region known as the Carib Indians tribe. Eventually after 1654 when a new bridge was constructed over the Careenage by the British, the town became known as The Town of Saint Michael and later Bridgetown, and the final name stuck.

Bridgetown serves as the principal centre of commercial activity in Barbados, as well as a central hub for the island's public transport system. Many of the ministries and departments of the island's government are also located in Bridgetown. The handsome Parliament Buildings, which stand at the heart of the city directly north of Heroes Square, house the third oldest parliament in the British Commonwealth. Indeed, at one point in its early history, Bridgetown was the most important city of all British possessions in the New World. Additionally, Bridgetown is the only city outside continental North America that George Washington visited. (George Washington House, the actual house where he stayed, is now part of the Garrison Historic Area)

Bridgetown has the qualities of a fully modern and thriving city. There is access to many services including a piped water supply (said to be naturally among the purest in the world), electricity, natural gas supply, cutting-edge telecommunications, wireless services, internet cafes, and a good overall infrastructure. The city is also served by an impressive conference facility the Sherbourne Conference Centre ( though still unfinished after ten years) in the suburb of Two Mill Hill just beyond the city's eastern limits. The City of Bridgetown played host to the 1994 United Nations Global Conference on Sustainable Development of Small Islands States. Bridgetown has branches of some of the largest banks in the world and English-speaking Caribbean and is internationally recognised as an emerging financial domicile. The city is currently experiencing a phenomenal spurt of redevelopment in preparation for the 2007 World Cricket Cup Finals to be held at the historic Kensington Oval. The Oval is being renovated to a state-of-the-art sports facility that will accommodate 30,000 spectators. Live viewership for the 2007 event is estimated to be in the region of 2 billion.

For a city of its size, Bridgetown is home to several prestigious educational institutions. The city serves as the seat of one of the three campuses of the University of the West Indies in the northern suburb of Cave Hill. The campus sits on a bluff offering a spectacular view of Bridgetown and its port. The Barbados Community College is located 3 miles east of the Central Business District in a suburb known as "The Ivy", while the sprawling campus of the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic is located just beyond the eastern limits of the city in a suburb known as "The Pine". In addition, the city houses such distinguished secondary schools as Harrison College and Combermere.

The city has access to daily flights via the island's Airport the Sir Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA) located on the ABC Highway/Highway 7 in Seawell, Christ Church. Bridgetown was the only other city in the western hemisphere - after New York, U.S.A - to be served by regularly scheduled British Airways Concorde flights. Additionally, the GAIA has been chosen as one of only four global display sites for the retired supersonic aircraft. The Airport is currently in the final stages of an expansion project, which will also include the construction of an aviation museum to house the retired Concorde aircraft.

Ośrodek handlowy w obszarze Małych Antyli; rafineria ropy naftowej, produkcja rumu i cukru. Miasto jest ośrodkiem naukowym (uniwersytet) i turystycznym. Miasto zostało założone w 1628 r. przez Anglików i nosiło niegdyś nazwę Miasto Świętego Michała (Town of Saint Michael).

[Source: Wikipedia]

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