Some places of worship are worthy of exploration – after all this what could show best the local inhabitants and what they are all about. At the same time places of worship can be a tricky point where many views converge, compete and fight. Well, all the better – now we have society in full blossom. Barbadian example did not wait for very long to pop out of the “woodwork”. A casual walk in Bridgetown proper can underline some of the currents and undercurrents that are in motion nowadays and leave the foreigner jaw-dropped. This is one case where the image floats better on its own while food for thought is being supplied in grand quantities.
I couldn't find any information about these columns. Perhaps if I had paid more attention when I was there and looked for a plaque or something then I would have more to tell you. However, I did not and will have to live with the guilt for the rest of my life.
We were attracted to this museum primarily because of the structure that it's in; it's beautiful. We went in because truthfully there's little else to do in downtown Bridgetown if you don't want to shop for jewelry. And... man, it was hot out!
So we went in. It was interesting to read about the history of Barbados, its role in the slave trade, and see old photos of Bridgetown. And, it was nice to be inside that beautiful structure.
And it only cost $5 per person. I was happy to have contributed something in return for some knowledge and some comfort
You'll surely come across this gothic structure if you explore Bridgetown on foot. The parliament buildings have undergone renovations and modifications over the years, but the basic structure was completed in 1874.
Parliament consists of the House of Assembly and the Senate. Visitors are welcome to watch the proceedings in the House of Assembly, which take place every Tuesday (Visitors are referred to officially as 'strangers' so don't feel offended if you get a referred to as this ;-)
Open from 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday.
Only about 8 hours to see Barbados so we took a bus trip across the island. From Bridgetown to Bathseba and back. Bathseba is on the east coast of the island and swept by the Atlantic Ocean.
The center of the island is mostly old sugar cane fields. During the 1800's and early paert of the twentyth century the sugar cane factories were powered by windmills. today the mills do not operate any more but the towers of the old dutch style mills were frequently seen as we drove back to the west coast.
As we neared Bridgetown we passed a statue of a former slave with his arms raised over his head and broken chains hanging from his wrists. This is the freedom statue celebrating the freeing of the slaves by the English Queen.
Just a few miles south of Bridgetown Harbor Lights is one of those day long destination night spots. It has a great beach behind the club with a fresh water tap to wash the sand and salt off when you have had enough of the sun. A beach cafe for sandwitches and cool drinkw when the sun has finally gor to you, oh, did I mention that the beach comes equipted with beach umbrellas to keep away the sunburns? It's own harbor cruise boat. And after the sun goes down a night club.
St Mary's Church is found at the end of Broad Street opposite to St Michael's Cathedral.
St Mary's was built in 1825 and is the second oldest consecrated ground on the island of Barbados. It is an Anglican church and is open to visitors with free admission.
Sunday services are held at 07:00, 08:30 and 18:00 and welcome visitors to the island.
Within the grounds of Queen's Park is a giant Baobab tree. The tree is the largest, and oldest, in Barbados and stands at 90ft (28m) tall with a circumference of 81ft (25m).
Some sources say this tree, not a native of Barbados, came from Africa on a slave ship. Other sources report that the Baobab is over 1,000 years old and speculate that the seed floated over on its own.
Walk a couple of minutes to the east of St Michael's Anglican Cathedral you will find Queen's Park, a pleasant patch of greenery just outside the city centre where you can take a few minutes rest and relaxation.
Here you will find the Queen's Park Art Gallery and some playing fields as well as some trimmed lawns and nicely laid out floral beds - a lovely place to sit in the shade and enjoy a rest before heading on to see the rest of the city centre or get back to your duty free shopping.
Entrance to the park is free.
St Michael's Anglican Cathedral cemetery has some magnificent headstones.
It is also the burial ground for Sir Grantley Herbert Adams (only Prime Minster of the West Indies Federation), as well as his son J M G M "Tom" Adams (2nd Prime Minister of Barbados).
The cemetery is also home to a pair of mongoose - but you'll have to keep your eyes peeled if you want to see them, they're quick little creatures.
My previous tip tells you about the Anglican Cathedral in Bridgetown, St Michael's.
Inside the cathedral, its worth spending some time in the choir stalls. These are intricately carved in mahogany. Many of the stalls are marked by a brass plaque with the designation of the stall holder.
Within the cathedral choir stalls, there is an impressive relief of William Hart Coleridge, the first Anglican Bishop of Bridgetown who contributed much to the church's presence on the island by enabling the building of 10 Anglican parish churches.
Situated on Saint Michael's Row, just east of the city centre, St Michael's is the city's cathedral church. The current cathedral was constructed in 1789 as a replacement to its predecessor which was destroyed by hurricane in 1780. The site has been used for religious buildings since the first wooden structure was was built between 1660 and 1665.
The neo-classic structure has an inverted boat's prow to form the roof over the altar, a reflection of the islands nautical heritage.
The cathedral is open Monday to Friday from 9:00am to 5:00pm. Admission is by donation.
The Elizabethan Vestry system was adopted by Barbados and the Island was divided into six parishes (later extended to the eleven civil parishes). The parish of Saint Michael and Saint George formerly served as a united parish with the parish Church of Saint Michael situated in the City of Bridgetown. The first church was a wooden building built in 1630 on the present location of St. Mary's Church. The first official religion in Barbados was Anglican (Church of England), but slaves were not allowed to join the church. With the abolition of slavery in 1838 many ex-slaves joined the Anglican church.
Bishop William Hart Coleridge, the first Anglican Bishop, did much to extend the church's influence by building ten chapels in the rural areas. His work, which began in 1825 and lasted to 1842, also led to the development of 11 chapel schools and the St. Mary Church in Bridgetown (photo 3). The present church, built under his jurisdiction in 1825-27 is the second oldest consecrated ground on the island. The church was built to take the extra parishioners who couldn't fit into St. Michael's Cathedral, the island's first church, located at the other end of town.
After the original wooden building was destroyed, the main church was moved to the other end of town and first building on that site was consecrated in the year 1665 and accommodated 3,000 worshippers. That building was destroyed by the hurricane of 1780. The new Church was dedicated on the Feast of Saint Michael and All Angels in 1789 and it was called the Cathedral Church of St. Michael's & All Angels. It was at the time the largest church on this side of the Atlantic, and with its substantial tower and peal of bells is much the same building one sees today for, although it was severely damaged again by hurricane in 1831, it was not demolished.
Upon the separation of the parishes of Saint Michael and Saint George, Saint Michael's continued to be the parish Church of the City of Bridgetown.
The Parish Church of Saint Michael now became the Cathedral of the new Diocese. The present Cathedral seats about 1600 persons, but the peal of bells in the tower is no longer rung.
Except for photo 3, all the photos are of The Cathedral Church of St. Michaels and All Angels, or St. Michaels for short.
This seems to be a favorite of all the crew on the ships. And why not? You get a free drink with your admission. :) The Rum Punch is pretty strong here. This beach has a walkway with a type of swinging rope you can swing off into the water. Be ready for the vendors and the locals trying to sell you rides on jet-skis. Just make sure they don't rip you off! Haggle if possible! I didn't I was too busy just enjoying the beach.
The Barbados Museum is actually not in Bridgetown, but is in Garrison. The website says that it was a former military prison, but I think it was also a garrison, which is where the name came from.
There is an Admission fee :
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Mon - Sat
2:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. Sunday
Closed on public holidays
When I was there before, there were no restrictions on photos. I was disappointed to find that now there were. They said I could only take photos in the courtyard. I had a somewhat elastic interpretation of this - I figured if I was IN the courtyard, I could take pictures of whatever I could see.
I remembered the Children's section of the museum which I thought was good. There was also a native art section, an explanation of Chattel Houses, a prison cell, and some sections devoted to contemporary art.