Nassau Paradise Island

Location:

The Queen’s Staircase

Follow in the Footsteps of Bahamian History

Take an historic walk up (or down) the stairs of the Queen’s Staircase, Nassau’s most visited attraction. In no small part because of its historic significance and method of construction, you’ll feel as if you’ve taken a step back in time.

The History

Towards the end of the 18th century, The Bahamas was a target for European marauders who wanted control of the Caribbean. Since the British had already colonized the country, they were fearful of an invasion, so a number of forts were built including Fort Fincastle, Fort Montagu, and Fort Charlotte (all of which remain standing today). Due to Fort Fincastle’s strategic position at the top of Bennet’s Hill, the highest point in Nassau, a direct access route was needed to reach the fort in case of an attack—which resulted in the start of building a staircase in the late 1700s.

The Staircase

The 102-foot staircase was hand-carved by approximately 600 slaves, who used pick axes and hand tools to cut their way through solid limestone, and the entire staircase took over 16 years to complete. It was only decades later that the impressive staircase was then named in honor of the 65-year reign of Queen Victoria, “who had signed a declaration to abolish slavery on her ascension to the throne in 1837.” Today, the Queen’s Staircase still acts as both a passageway to Fort Fincastle and a shortcut to Bennet’s Hill.