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Parliament Square and Rawson Square
If you take a tour taxi from the cruise ship docks, you will likely go through or by Parliament Square. The buildings in Parliament Square were constructed in 1815 by the Loyalists and are excellent examples of the colonial architecture of old Nassau. This is where most of the government buildings can be found. They are pink.
The building to the right is the House of Assembly where parliamentary meetings are held. The Senate meets upstairs in the center building and the building to the left houses the office of the Leader of the Opposition. Queen Victoria’s Statue is in the front of the Senate building. Located at the back of the Senate building is the Supreme Court which occupied this present building since 1921. This is where quarterly sessions of the Bahamas Superior Court and sessions of The Court of Appeal sit. Judges and lawyers are dressed in traditional British wigs and robes. When we went through we saw prisoners who could not make bail being delivered from the jail to stand trial.
Visiting the square is free
Our taxi driver told us an amusing story about Sir Milo Butler (the first black Governor General) when we passed his statue in Rawson Square. Supposedly he offered a large acreage to anyone who married any of his daughters who were big (as in tall) girls. Only two men took him up on it.
There's also a big monument to Sir George Henry Gamblin, Kt., M. E. C., M. L. C.
- Arts and Culture
The Parliament and Library
The Supreme Court, in Rawson Square, is the most beautiful sight in Nassau. It's a georgian pink building which houses the Bahamian House of Assembly, the Senate and the Supreme Court. basically, the Bahamas government seat. From 10 AM to 5:30 PM you're welcome to visit it inside.
Although the Bahamas gained their independence from great Britain in 1973, the institutions have not changed - especially since the islands are still part of the Commonwealth. A clear sign is that statue right in the middle of the square. The lady is Queen Victoria.
Right behind the Parliment building, in a little park - somewhat hidden away among tall trees, there's a pink octagonal-shaped building worth a visit. it's the Nassau Public Library.
Located directly across Bay St from Rawson Square, Parliament Square features 3 beautiful Georgian neo-classical pink and white buildings that were built between 1805 and 1813. The buildings sit on three sides of the square: as you look south from Bay St, the building on the left is the office of the Leader of the Opposition, the building on the right is the House of Assembley and the Senate building is in the middle with a statue of Queen Victoria in front.
Nassau is the seat of the national government. The Bahamian Parliament comprises two houses -- a 16-member Senate (Upper House) and a 40-member House of Assembly (Lower House) -- and a ministerial cabinet headed by a prime minister. Parliament Square's pink, colonnaded government buildings were constructed in the early 1800s by Loyalists who came to the Bahamas from North Carolina. The square is dominated by a statue of a slim young Queen Victoria that was erected on her birthday, May 24, in 1905. In the immediate area are a half dozen magistrates' courts (open to the public; obtain a pass at the door to view a session). Behind the House of Assembly is the Supreme Court. Its four-times-a-year opening ceremonies (held the first weeks of January, April, July, and October) recall the wigs and mace-bearing pageantry of the Houses of Parliament in London. The Royal Bahamas Police Force Band is usually on hand for the event. COST: Free. OPEN: Weekdays 10-4.
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Parliament Square is where the Houses of Parliament, Supreme Court, and Public Library & Museum are located. The pink buildings were constructed in the early 1800's by loyalists who moved to Nassau from North Carolina. The Bahamas were a British colony until their independence in 1973. They remain a member of the Commonwealth.
Parliament is composed of the House of Assembly and the Senate. House members are directly elected to 5 year terms and Senators are appointed by the Governor-General. The Bahamas are one of the most stable countries in the world.
Queen Victoria Statue at Parliament Square
This marble statue of Queen Victoria was placed in Parliament Square on her birthday, May 24, 1905. The Bahamas were a British colony and the queen was ruler until her death in 1901.
Parliament Square is located in downtown Nassau. You can't miss the pastel colored buildings.
The buildings include the House of Parliament, the Colonial Secretary's Office, and the Supreme Court.
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Nassau Travel Guide
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