What is the Capital City of Barbados?

By | May 3, 2024

Bridgetown, the capital city of Barbados, is a vibrant and historic urban center located on the southwestern coast of the island. With its colonial architecture, bustling markets, and picturesque waterfront, Bridgetown offers visitors a captivating blend of old-world charm and modern amenities. As the political, economic, and cultural hub of Barbados, Bridgetown plays a central role in the island nation’s identity and development.

City Facts:

  • Area: Bridgetown covers an area of approximately 39 square kilometers (15 square miles).
  • Population: As of the latest estimates, Bridgetown is home to over 110,000 people, making it the largest city in Barbados.
  • Time Zone: Bridgetown operates on Atlantic Standard Time (AST) during the winter months and Atlantic Daylight Time (ADT) during the summer months, which is UTC-4.
  • Highest Mountain: Mount Hillaby is the highest point in Barbados, standing at 336 meters (1,102 feet) above sea level. However, Bridgetown is located on the coastal plains and does not have any significant mountains within its vicinity.
  • Longest River: Barbados is a small, low-lying island with no permanent rivers. The island’s streams and gullies are intermittent and dependent on rainfall.

Major Landmarks

Bridgetown boasts a variety of landmarks that reflect its colonial heritage, cultural diversity, and natural beauty. From historic forts to bustling markets and scenic promenades, here are some of the major landmarks in the city:

1. Parliament Buildings

The Parliament Buildings, located in the heart of Bridgetown, are the seat of government for Barbados. The buildings comprise two neo-Gothic-style structures, the Parliament House and the Senate Chambers, separated by National Heroes Square. Visitors can tour the buildings’ historic interiors, including the chambers, libraries, and galleries, and learn about the island’s political history and governance.

2. Garrison Historic Area

The Garrison Historic Area, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a sprawling complex of historic military buildings and fortifications dating back to the 18th century. Located on the outskirts of Bridgetown, the Garrison was once the largest British military garrison in the Caribbean and played a crucial role in the defense of the island. Visitors can explore landmarks such as the George Washington House, the Barbados Museum, and the historic Garrison Savannah racetrack.

3. Bridgetown Waterfront

The Bridgetown Waterfront is a bustling area along Carlisle Bay, lined with shops, restaurants, and attractions. Visitors can stroll along the scenic boardwalk, relax on the sandy beaches, or take a boat tour of the bay. The waterfront is also home to the Careenage, a historic harbor where colorful fishing boats and luxury yachts dock, adding to the area’s charm and vibrancy.

4. Kensington Oval

Kensington Oval is a historic cricket stadium located in Bridgetown, renowned for its role in the sport’s history and culture in the Caribbean. The stadium has hosted numerous international cricket matches, including World Cup finals and Test matches. Visitors can tour the stadium’s facilities, visit the cricket museum, and watch live matches during major tournaments, experiencing the passion and excitement of Caribbean cricket.

5. Pelican Village

Pelican Village is a cultural complex and craft center in Bridgetown, showcasing the talents of local artisans and craftsmen. Visitors can browse a variety of handcrafted goods, including pottery, textiles, jewelry, and wood carvings, and watch artisans at work in their studios. Pelican Village also hosts cultural events, live performances, and exhibitions, providing visitors with insight into Barbadian arts and culture.

Climate Overview

Bridgetown enjoys a tropical maritime climate with warm temperatures and consistent trade winds throughout the year. The city experiences two main seasons: the dry season from December to May and the wet season from June to November. Here is a table detailing the average temperature, precipitation, and sunny days for each month:

Month Average Temperature (°C) Precipitation (mm) Sunny Days
January 26 60 8
February 26 40 8
March 27 40 9
April 28 50 9
May 29 60 9
June 30 90 8
July 30 100 7
August 30 110 7
September 30 120 7
October 29 100 7
November 28 90 8
December 27 70 8

Other Historical Capital Cities

Throughout Barbados’s history, several other cities have served as its capital at different times, each contributing to the island’s development and heritage.

Bridgetown (1628-present)

Bridgetown has been the capital of Barbados since the early colonial period when English settlers established the city in 1628. Over the centuries, Bridgetown has grown into a bustling port city and commercial center, playing a central role in the island’s economy and governance. The city’s historic landmarks, vibrant culture, and strategic location have made it a symbol of Barbadian identity and pride.

Holetown (1627-1628)

Holetown, originally known as Jamestown, was the first English settlement and capital of Barbados from 1627 to 1628. The settlement was established by Captain Henry Powell and a group of English settlers who arrived on the island in 1627. Holetown served as the administrative and commercial center of early colonial Barbados before the capital was moved to Bridgetown the following year.

Country Facts

Area: According to Countries Zipper, Barbados is a small island nation located in the eastern Caribbean, covering an area of approximately 430 square kilometers (166 square miles).

Population: With a population of over 290,000 people, Barbados is one of the most densely populated countries in the Caribbean region.

Official Language: English is the official language of Barbados, spoken by the majority of the population.

Currency: The Barbadian dollar (BBD) is the official currency of Barbados, which is pegged to the US dollar at a rate of 2:1.

Government: Barbados is a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy, with a Prime Minister as the head of government and the British monarch as the ceremonial head of state.

Independence: Barbados gained independence from the United Kingdom on November 30, 1966, becoming a sovereign nation within the Commonwealth.

Natural Resources: Barbados is known for its pristine beaches, coral reefs, and rich biodiversity. The island’s economy relies heavily on tourism, agriculture, and offshore banking.

Culture: Barbadian culture is a vibrant mix of African, European, and Caribbean influences, reflected in its music, dance, cuisine, and festivals. The island is famous for its calypso music, vibrant festivals such as Crop Over, and delicious local dishes like flying fish and cou-cou.

Flag: The flag of Barbados consists of a trident symbol on a field of ultramarine blue, representing the island’s connection to the sea and its aspirations for progress and prosperity.

National Anthem: “The National Anthem of Barbados” is the national anthem of Barbados, celebrating the island’s beauty, heritage, and people.

Economy: Barbados has a mixed economy with a strong emphasis on tourism, manufacturing, and financial services. The island’s economy is characterized by high levels of education and a well-developed infrastructure, making it one of the most developed countries in the Caribbean.

In conclusion, Bridgetown, the capital city of Barbados, is a vibrant and historic urban center that reflects the island’s rich history, cultural diversity, and natural beauty. From its colonial landmarks to its bustling waterfront, Bridgetown offers visitors a captivating glimpse into Barbadian life and heritage, making it a must-visit destination in the Caribbean.

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