Not a major sight but an important historic sight: the Nidhe Israel Synagogue. It dates back to 1654 and it is one of the oldest synagogues in the Western Hemisphere, but the building as you see today was rebuilt in 1833 after the hurricane. Having said this, it is hard to find as it is mostly hidden behind a wall and was closed at the time I was visiting. By the glimpse I could catch, there seemed to be interesting tombs to be found.
Apparently, there's a small museum on site.
This church is greatly overlooked. Most visitors passing by, don't even give it a second glance, and the tour guides just drive by it, and don't even point it out. This is a real shame, as it has an interesting history. Luckily, for the tour group, they had ME in the van ;)
I think the main reason it's ignored, is because the way it looks on the outside, but as the saying goes, "It's what's on the inside that counts". In fact, if I didn't see pictures of the interior, I probably wouldn't bother with this church either.
The church actually isn't located in Bridgetown city center, but just on the outskirts of it, next to Carlisle Bay. Originally built in 1848, this Roman Catholic church was burned to the ground in 1897, by Protestant arsonists, who strongly opposed its teachings, making it one of the only churches on the island that wasn't destroyed by a hurricane. The church was rebuilt two years later, in 1899, and was consecrated on August 23, 1903.
The church remains one of the few on the island, that isn't Anglican. These days, its nothing more than a community church, but people who are interested in history or churches, might want to check it out. it's worth visiting just for the beautiful interior, which has spectacular columns, arches, and a mural or St. Patrick. It's not a place you make a special trip to, but it's worth stopping if you're passing by on foot, as we were.
If you DO want to visit this church, it's located on the corner of Bay St. (Hwy 7) and Jemmotts Lane. There is a fence around the parking lot, but there is a gate you can use to get inside.
Funny story about this church. This is one place I thought we would get a break from the hawkers and beggars, but no. This young local guy saw us enter the church, and immediately came in and asked us if we could give him 2 BBD. At first I thought was gonna charge us for photographing the church, but it turned out her just wanted it for lunch. When we refused, he went to the neighboring school, and started asking there, with no luck. We laughed afterwards. One, he obviously wasn't poor, as after he had no luck getting money, he got into his "nice" car, and drove away. And two, you can't buy lunch for 2 BBD anywhere on the island. Luckily, he wasn't stubborn, and left us alone, though he wasn't happy.
I think he just wanted some free money. There were actually some "real' homeless people sleeping next to the church, who actually needed money, and weren't asking for it. This guy should be ashamed of himself.
There were actually a few shady characters walking around. As I said, this is no tourist attraction, and apparently, not the best neighborhood, despite it's close proximity to the famous Carlisle Beach. To be honest, I was actually a bit concerned that they would start yelling at us, for filming and taking pictures but luckily, they left us alone. But I didn't wanna risk snapping some shots of the side of the church, as that's where they were sleeping. And the last thing I wanted was these people to think I was taking THEIR picture.
- Historical Travel
- Religious Travel
Known simply as the "Round House", this unique and funny looking, architectural gem, was once the private residence of renowned Bajan poet and writer, Edward Kamau Brathwaite.
This is another one of those sites that's easy to overlook. Most people walk by it, and don't even know it has any significance. This is definitely not a tourist attraction. Although it has historical and cultural significance, it's actually someone's house, but it's still worth stopping to admire, as its an important piece of Bajan culture, and a really unique building. Than again, unless you are Bajan, you most likely won't appreciate the Brathwaite connection, so it will probably just be a cool building to you. I appreciated both the architecture, and the historical/cultural connection. Even if you don't, it's still a cool building to just stop and take pictures of. I wish I could find when it was actually built, and when Brathwaite actually lived there.
This is another one of those hidden attractions, that are located on the outskirts of Bridgetown. I forgot the exact location of the house, but it's located on Bay St. (Hwy. 7). The interactive map on Barbados.org, has it marked, right across the street from St. Patrick's Church, adjacent to Carlisle Beach.
Don't confuse this house, with the historic restaurant and inn, in Bathsheba, which has the same name. This is a completely different building, in a completely different part of the island.
- Arts and Culture
Lemon Arbor, a little rumshop, behind a house, in St. Johns, with a spectacular view from an open deck of a sugar plantation.
Serves cheap alcohol, all the locals are friendly and welcoming, and may even buy you a drink even if they are meeting you for the first time.
The pork. To die for. BBQ, Fried, Pickled (souse). Mouthwatering.
People from all walks of Barbadian life come here. One place where the classism and racism disappears.
Perfect spot for a relaxing Saturday evening if not going to the beach.
- Food and Dining
Not necessarily something you'd go out of your way to find, but an interesting thing to stumble across: Here marks the original meeting place for the Barbadian parliament in 1639. It was supposedly upstairs in a tavern (the Bajans were laid back even back then it would seem).
Barbados had the third oldest parliamentary system in the Commonwealth (after the UK and Bermuda).
This monument is located at the corner of Spry and Roebuck Streets.
Sometimes it is interesting to wander through the churchyards and look at the inscriptions on the stones. There's often a whole family history there.
- Religious Travel
- Historical Travel
MUST VISIT BOTTOM'S BAY!!! The beach there is absolutely breath taking. It's secluded so those who do their research will know about it. Heavy tides but who cares, the view will be enough!!!!