Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is a small independent country in the Caribbean that consists of the large island of Saint Vincent and a number of tiny islands to its south. What is the capital city of this interesting and idyllic island nation?
The capital of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is Kingstown. Kingstown has been the capital of the island nation for the entire duration of its independence and the associated status that preceded it.
In the rest of the article, we are going to learn more about Kingstown, including where it is located, what its history is, and what some of the best places to visit are if you ever find yourself in town.
Where Is the Capital of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Located?
Kingstown is found in the parish of Saint George on the southern coast of the island of Saint Vincent. The island is the largest of the islands that make up the independent state of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. These islands are all part of the Windward Islands of the Lesser Antilles, marking the eastern boundary of the Caribbean Sea and separating it from the Atlantic Ocean.
Kingstown is built on a small stretch of lowlands along a bay and is surrounded by hills. This geography is both functional for its port and scenic.
Brief History of Kingstown
Kingstown was originally founded by the French in the 1720s. Although the first few decades of the city’s history are more humble than many of its contemporaries, 1765 did mark the year that the oldest botanical gardens in the Western Hemisphere were opened in Kingstown.
Two years before this, in 1763, the city was captured by the British, and the new administration sought to cement its control over the island with the establishment of a new fort. Fort Charlotte began construction that same year at Kingstown and was finally completed in 1806.
In the time between the laying of Fort Charlotte’s foundations and its completion, the island of Saint Vincent saw three wars. Two of these wars were uprisings from the native population, and the other was war with France as part of the American Revolution. Kingstown was occupied by the French between 1779 and 1783 as part of this war.
Kingstown eventually surpassed Barrouallie as the largest city on the island of Saint Vincent. This gave it clear status as the most prominent city on the island, which set it on the path to being the capital city that it is today.
When Did Kingstown Become the Capital of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines?
Kingstown has been the capital of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines throughout the entire duration of its independence, which began in 1979.
Before this, Kingstown was the capital city of the associated state of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, which covered the period of 1969 to 1979.
Why Is Kingstown the Capital of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines?
When Saint Vincent and the Grenadines achieved full independence in 1979, it inherited Kingstown as its capital from the previously associated state of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
By the time Kingstown was made capital of Saint Vincent, it was the island’s main port. This was likely a major factor in its new status in addition to it being the largest city on the island.
Kingstown continues to be both the main port and the largest city of the current Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, so its status as the state’s capital city is not likely to change in the near future.
Best Places to Visit in Kingstown
Although Kingstown is not large, it is very scenic, and there are many places to see to enjoy the area’s natural beauty. If you are looking for something a bit more specific, we have set out the three best places to visit in Kingstown below.
For a view of Kingstown from above, Fort Charlotte is a prime destination. Built on Berkshire Hill, a visit to the fort gives you an unforgettable view of the entirety of the city, the hills that surround it, and the bay that it is all along.
A visit to Fort Charlotte also allows you to travel back in time and see one of the oldest remaining structures in Kingstown. The historical significance of the fort is immense, having shaped so much of the city’s history since its construction.
Saint Vincent Botanical Gardens
If you enjoy the history of Fort Charlotte but would prefer something a bit closer to nature, no visit to Kingstown is complete without a stop at the Saint Vincent Botanical Gardens. Originally created in 1765, these are the oldest botanical gardens anywhere in the Western Hemisphere.
The Saint Vincent Botanical Gardens are open to the public seven days a week from 7:00 in the morning until either 5:30 or 6:00 in the evening, depending on the season. For only a small added cost over normal tickets, you can get a guided tour through these amazing gardens and learn about both the history of the site and the incredible flora within.
Saint Mary’s Cathedral of the Assumption
The Cathedral of the Assumption in Kingston is a marvel of architecture. The eclectic style in which it was gradually built mixes Flemish, Venetian, and Moorish, among others, creating a truly unique look.
The original church was built in 1823 as a simple wooden building, and since then, the site has been getting repairs, improvements, and expansions until it reached the state it is in today. The church was made a co-cathedral in 1971 and then finally a cathedral in 1990.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is one of the lesser known countries of the world, but it is no less interesting to visit than any of the others. We learned today that the capital of this young nation is Kingstown and had a look at its history from a small French colonial settlement to the city that we know it as today.