Originally founded in 1670, the city of Nassau boasts a colorful and interesting history. Today, it’s a vibrant and exciting city to visit, full of friendly faces, great shopping and dining options, unique tours and activities, and – surprise! – tons of historical sites to explore.
To get a taste of the people and events that have influenced Nassau and the rest of The Bahamas, take a day or two out of your vacation to explore the city’s history. Check out our guide to the top 10 historical sites in Nassau Paradise Island.
Built in 1789 by Bahamas governor Lord John Murray Dunmore, and named to honor the wife of King George III, Fort Charlotte is the largest of the three forts found in Nassau today. It’s located a short walk from downtown Nassau and features a waterless moat, a drawbridge, ramparts, and dungeons, making it a family-friendly site that’s fun for kids to explore. During the day, guided tours are offered. Be sure to check out the fantastic views of the island.
Fun Fact: Fort Charlotte was the first “pet project” of Lord Dunmore, intended to protect the western entrance to Nassau Harbour. While the fort was extensive and elaborate, it was also considered by experts to be poorly designed and was hugely overbudget, and came to be known as “Dunmore’s Folly”.
Fort Fincastle was built in 1793 to help protect the city from pirates. Located atop Bennet’s Hill, the highest point on New Providence Island, it provided the best views of Nassau and Paradise Island as well as the eastern approaches to the islands. Another of Lord Dunmore’s projects, the fort was constructed in the shape of a paddle-wheel steamer. Today, it’s open to the public from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.