Fort & Water Tower, Nassau
From the top of the water tower you can see almost the whole island, miles and miles around. You get a splendid view of the harbour and city, the neighborhoods and the nearby island. From here, you see just how impressive the Atlantis hotel really is. It dominates everything. You ride the elevator up, and down if you like, though we rode up and walked down. It costs only 50 cents.
To help you appreciate the view, you can also key in on my Nassau travelogue, aptly titled, "Pics from the top of the water tower". Like I said, the views are phenomenal.
The Queen's Staircase looks like it used to have some kind of function, but now boasts only a disfunctional waterfall. You can still see the marks of the tools in the walls where it took 60 slaves 16 years to carve the staircase out of the rock, which was used in the making of Ft. Fincastle, located at the top of the steps. I have to say the climb wasn't easy, but at least the shade helped with the heat.
Fort Fincastle is located at the base of the water tower. Its not carefully preserved and you do have to watch out for things like broken glass, but its surprisingly intact, including the cannon. If you come up to see the water tower, just slip off to the side to see this too. If the water tower is closed, this makes a good substitute as a picture taking location. This is free.
Fort Charlotte is the largest and most interesting of the three forts found in Nassau. Built in 1789 by Lord Dunmore and named in honor of the wife of King George III.This fort has never fired a shot in Battle. It includes a water-less moat, draw-bridge, ramparts and dungeons. Fort Charlotte commands a fine view of Nassau Harbor. (Admission is free. Tours are conducted Monday through Sunday, 8am to 3pm.)
Fort Fincastle, located on Bennet's Hill, just a few minutes walk from downtown, is a small and interesting fort. What really stand out is how this fort is shaped: like a a paddle-wheel steamer. It was built by Lord Dunmore in 1793 - and this time he dedicated it... to himself. In fact, Fincastle was his second title - Viscount Fincastle.
Like Fort Charlotte, this Fort proved useless in terms of preventing possible attacks - basically because nassau was never attacked. Therefore it was used for a long time as a lighthouse and then as a signal tower. The fort is open Monday through Sunday, from 8 am to 3pm. Entrance is free.
There are three main forts in Nassau. One on the west, one in the center and this one on the east. Up until 2011, I had only seen Fort Montagu (which was named after the Duke of Montagu) as we left the harbour to go to the 'out islands' (photo 5). Fort Montagu is on the southeast point of the harbour about two miles from Nassau.
The present Fort Montagu was built by Peter Henry Bruce. He was appointed Chief Engineer to fortify The Bahama Islands on July 1, 1740, and arrived in Nassau on April 21, 1741. First he had to get the materials. Both Governor Tinker, with whom Bruce had come to The Bahamas, and his predecessor, Governor Fitzwilliam, had provided lime, but it was at so great a distance that Bruce made his lime on the spot. Stone which had to be carried from the woods on the heads of the natives as there was no such thing as a "wheel carriage" on the Island.
The 126 foot high Water Tower is built next to Fort Fincastle on one of the highest points in Nassau along the Prospect Ridge. It was built in 1928 to maintain water pressure on the island. It is possible to climb up inside (there's 216 steps!) or do what nearly everyone else does and that's to take the elevator which costs 50 cents. The views from the top are wonderful as you can see all of downtown Nassau, the Atlantis hotel on Paradise Island, the huge cruise ships in Prince George Wharf and even the hotels along Cable Beach.
Fort Fincastle is a very small fortress that was built in 1793 by Lord Dunmore who was Governor between 1786-1797. There's not much to see or do in the fort except climb along the ramparts to view the remaining old cannons.
This fort, which is located west of downtown Nassau, is the largest in the Bahamas and was built between 1787 and 1790. The fort features a deep moat (which is dry), exterior walls that were cut from solid rock, a dungeon, old cannon, undergorund tunnels and bombproof chambers. The fort offers nice views over Clifford Park Cricket Club and the surrounding area. Think it was free to visit as well!
We saw the tower, and I had planned to go up the elevator, who can beat $.50 to get to a view like that? However, our tour guide told us that the elevator is no longer available. Fort Fincastle is now the best option for the highest view on the island. At $1.00, this is a great bargain, and we enjoyed the view from there very much, and the chance to take photos from that vantage point.
Tiny 18th century fortress built to protect all and sundry, it was never tested out (and by the size of it, probably a good job!). Alongside it is the Water Tower, the tallest building in New Providence (built in 1928) and which provides the best views over Nassau (and Fort Fincastle).
Like a lot of people, we went to Fort Fincastle. We liked it. It was only a dollar, is the highest point on the island, so great photos, and it's right next to the Queen's Staircase, so a two-fer...Plus, there's a reasonably clean public bathroom there, which we took advantage of.
The water tower, which also serves as a lighthouse, is shaped like a white saltshaker. It stands 126 feet high and it 216 feet above sea level. From it you may see a 360 degree view of Nassau and Paradise Island. It cost 50 cents to take the elevator up or you could climb a circular staircase. I unfortunately could not go up the water tower since it was closed the day I went. I walked down to the fort which is near the base of the water tower.
Fort Fincastle was built in 1793 by Lord Dunmore. He named the castle after his second title Viscount Fincastle. It has several cannons which were built to protect all the ways the enemy could have made a landing. It had cannons to cover Hog Island (the now Paradise Island) as well as the town and the road to the east. These cannons never had to be fired. The fort provides a good lookout spot, since it was built on Bennet Hill and overlooks the town. The front of the fort is shaped like the bow of a ship and is made to look like a paddle-wheel steamer, which you can see on the Mississippi. The fort has not been carefully preserved and you have to watch out for broken glass on the sidewalks. The cannon are nicely intact. Truthfully, the fort is not much to look at but it is in the middle of the water tower and queen’s staircase so you may as well check it out while you are here since it is free. If the water tower is closed you can get some good shots of Nassau from here. Lots of cruise ship tours come here, you can listen in if you want to learn more on the history.
The fort and tower are located on Elizabeth Avenue, you can reach this fort by way of the Queen’s Staircase a few blocks up from the harbor on E Fort Fincastle. You can walk here from the harbor or the Hilton. I would suggest to take a cab up since you might not know your way around, then if it is still sunny out walk back down towards the harbor walk along the harbor to get to the straw market, Senor Frog’s and the Hilton.
Fort Charlotte is the largest and most interesting fort in Nassau. Charlotte was the name of the wife of King George III - and it is in her honour that Lord Dunmore called it when he had it built in in 1789. The fort is quite impressive, with a moat, a draw-bridge, ramparts, cannons and a dungeon.
The aim was that of protecting the western entrance of Nassau harbor - a noble idea which proved to be a waste of labour and money: no invaders were to come so from this fort not even a single shot was fired. The fort is open daily from 8am to 3pm and entry is now 5 dollars, which will be used for a much needed restauration.
If you are at awe over water towers, then by all means go see it. For me I wasn't impressed. If you see one water tower you have seen them all. I guess I didn't enjoy it because I see them all the time around my home town. Plus I didn't spend lots of money and hundreds of miles for the highlight to be a water tower ;-) It cost .50 cents to venture up it. If you haven't see one Go see it. I did get a great deal on t-shirts there though. They had a few tables of t-shirts and hats. You get a better by if you buy your had at Wal-mart or K-Mart store. I paid $4.99 for one at Wal-Mart for my husband, so I thought I might get me one at the tables near the Water tower, the lady had $20.00 on a straw hat so I offered her 6 dollars she just about came over the table to chew me out...Next time I'll bring my own from Wal-Mart. ( Notice the t-shirt stand in the picture.)