Throughout our three-part series on travel and architecture, we are exploring some of the most interesting architectural cities and sites in The Caribbean and surrounding areas. In today’s article, we’ll look at some of the most impressive and noteworthy architecture to experience while vacationing on a Bermuda cruise.
With its stately mansions, Bermuda feels more like a place in rural England than an island nation. The tiny island has a mixture of British, Portuguese, African, West Indian, and North American influences— all of which have impacted its architecture. Bermuda architecture offers insights into the island's critical historical moments.
Here are some of the most important architectural sites to experience on a cruise to Bermuda.
#1. St. Peter’s Church
St Peter's Church is the oldest Anglican church outside of the British Isles that has been in continuous use. It is a UNICEF World Heritage Site. Located in the historic town of Saint George, the church was initially built in 1612. It's been rebuilt several times over the years.
The original altar, throne, and communion silver are all located inside the church. Outside St Peter's Church are two historic cemeteries. They were segregated for white and black Bermuda residents. The western part of the cemetery is now a stop on the African Diaspora Heritage Trail.
#2. Carter House Museum
Constructed in 1640, the Carter House is thought to be one of the oldest farmhouses in Bermuda. It was built by the family of Christopher Carter, who was one of Bermuda's original settlers. The 17th-century house is now a museum that has preserved the islander’s way of life. The museum shows the early islanders were poor but happy.
#3. Front Street
Front Street is the waterfront promenade that overlooks the harbor. Take a walk down this iconic street, and you'll quickly notice the quaint colonial buildings painted pastel hues of yellow, pink and blue. These buildings are not just pretty, but also a source of local pride. They are a testament to the creativity and ingenuity of Bermudians. The dazzling hues of Bermuda's colorful buildings date back to the 17th century and signify the Bermudian positive outlook on life.
#4. Fort Hamilton
Located high on a hilltop on the outskirts of Hamilton, this impressive pentagonal fort was constructed in the 1870s to defend against an American attack. It offers spectacular views of the harbor and the capital. The 18-ton artillery pieces were never fired. Today, the moat has been transformed into a lush, green garden. Take a stroll among the well-manicured lawns. Or, if you are a history buff, explore the many underground dungeons, cannons, and passages.
#5. Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity
This cathedral is known for its historical, social and religious importance as well as its beautiful architecture. Situated on Church Street and designed by famed Scottish architect William Hay, this cathedral is quite impressive in design. Work began on the structure in 1886. It was finally completed in 1911.
Most of the building is built from Bermuda limestone. The decorative features are made of a unique stone brought to the island from France. Climb the 155 stairs to the top of the tower, and you'll be rewarded with a sweeping panoramic view of Hamilton.
Exploring a destination’s architecture and design shape the way travelers experience a place. Even if you don't know the difference between Gothic and Revival design, understanding the architecture of a place can make a walk around a new city more exciting and rewarding.