Why is Georgetown the Capital of Guyana?

Why is Georgetown the Capital of Guyana?
Why is Georgetown the Capital of Guyana?

Guyana, otherwise known as the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, is a country located on the north portion of South America’s mainland. If you’re interested in visiting this country, also called “Land of Many Waters,” you may find yourself wondering: What is the capital of Guyana?

The capital of Guyana is called Georgetown. Georgetown is the largest city in the country of Guyana’s territory, placed in the fourth region on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean in the Demerara-Mahaica.

In this article, we’ll cover some of the most commonly asked questions about Georgetown, the capital of Guyana, as well as go over some of the very best places to visit if you ever find yourself traveling to that area.

Where is the Capital of Guyana Located?

Where is the Capital of Guyana Located?
Where is the Capital of Guyana Located?
Guyana Political Map with capital Georgetown
Guyana Political Map with capital Georgetown

The Capital of Guyana is located in the country of Guyana, which currently occupies the northeastern edge of the South American mainland continent. South America itself is on the western hemisphere of the globe, bordered to the west by the Pacific Ocean and hedged on the north and east by the Atlantic Ocean. It is the Atlantic Ocean that borders Georgetown.

Georgetown is just at the mouth of the Demerara River, which begins in the central Guyana forests and flows to the north toward the Atlantic Ocean. This means that Georgetown also functions as Guyana’s main port!

The country’s terrain surrounding Georgetown consists of wide, flat coastal plains. Because of this, the city itself is surrounded by cane fields and swamp marshes. Savannah environments even span the city’s southern and eastern edges. 

Because of its nearness to the ocean, the Capital of Guyana is protected by a retaining wall which keeps the ocean from flooding the city, since it is situated one meter under the common level of high tides. Interestingly, the Capital of Guyana is considered to be part of a rainforest climate, which means that the climate is typically hot, windy, and humid. 

Technically, Guyana’s Capital is constructed in an east to west, north to south grid that is laced through with a canal system, full of boulevards and colonially historical buildings. 

Brief History of Georgetown

Georgetown did not begin its establishment as a city under the authority of Guyana. In fact, it started as a Dutch colony! Eventually, this colony was attacked and captured by British forces in 1781. He then moved the exact location of the town that would become Georgetown to the mouth of the Demerara River, where it remains to this day.

According to the Guyana Newspaper, before becoming the Capital city of Guyana, Georgetown went through a period of being captured and recaptured by several different countries, including France, Britain, and the Dutch once again! It was named after King George the Third in 1812, and it remained a British Colony thereafter.

Guyana declared its independence from Great Britain in 1966. 

Because of the many colonists from different Western countries, the Capital of Guyana enjoys being the home of many historically significant buildings, including St. George’s Cathedral and the Demerara Harbour Bridge.

When did Georgetown Become the Capital of Guyana?

Now that we have a brief history of Georgetown itself, we can get an idea of when Georgetown became the capital of Guyana! 

The first capital of the Demerara-Essequibo colony in the 18th century was actually on an Island known as the Borselen Island in the Demerara River. This was while the Dutch still held authority over Guyana.

After being captured by the British, the actual placement of the town was relocated to the mouth of this river. However, it wasn’t until the French took over the area in 1782 that the city became a Capital and began to thrive economically. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, even after the Dutch re-colonized it in 1784, it was still an important location.

When Georgetown became a part of the newly-independent country of Guyana in 1966, it was home to all of the Executive Departments, including the Guyana Legislative Building and the highest judicial court, the Court of Appeals. 

Why is Georgetown the Capital of Guyana?

To put it simply, Georgetown is the Capital of Guyana because it is the largest, most profitable, and most productive city in the nation. It has always been a place of importance and authority, even before Guyana declared its independence. 

Georgetown exports tropical fruit, sugar, timber, rice, and even diamonds and gold from Guyana. It is also situated near the nation’s main port. Not only that, but its population exceeds 200,000, making it the most populated part of the country by far.

These facts, coupled with the city’s position as the home to most of the aforementioned government buildings, make Georgetown the no-brainer as Guyana’s Capital.

Best Places to Visit in Georgetown

Below is a list of some of the best places to visit if you ever find yourself in the capital of Guyana!

  1. St. George’s Cathedral – Built in 1842, the St. George’s Cathedral is a marvel of gothic architecture. It makes for a fantastic photo opportunity inside and out, and can be booked for a tour!
  2. Promenade Gardens – Located between the Waterloo, Newmarket, Middle, and Carmichael Streets, the Promenade Garden is the home of a beautiful Bandstand and a variety of tropical flowers.
  3. Guyana National Museum – The Guyana National Museum offers an opportunity to look at species of flora and fauna native to Guyana, both living and extinct! Particularly exciting is the opportunity to see a giant sloth in the final gallery. 
  4. Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception – Another fantastic must-see for fans of great architecture is this historical cathedral, one of the tallest free-standing buildings in the world. 

In Conclusion

To sum it all up, the capital of Guyana is known as Georgetown, a place that has been important to trade and colonization since the 18th century! 

Though it was initially colonized by the Dutch and changed hands from the French, back to the Dutch, and then to the British Empire, Georgetown was the obvious choice for the nation’s Capital when Guyana became independent in 1966. Located at the mouth of the Demerara River, it is home to beautiful colonial architecture and tropical examples of nature.

See Also

Capital Cities 

Hi and welcome to my travel blog! Based in London, I work in investment banking in a quantitative field and although I am not part of the travel industry, I have a ton of passion for travel. My blog is a reference guide for my fellow travelers with the same passion as me. Hopefully the blog is easy to navigate and my aim is to bring the most relevant and interesting information before you begin your journey!