Life may be a beach for many. Others prefer to shop until they drop. Some sail while others simply lie back and enjoy the good life on the beaches and yachts of the British Virgin Islands (BVI). Some retire to the balconies of their Villas in Virgin Island and look out at what is unfolding before them as the day begins or ends. There are also those who firmly believe that to truly understand and enjoy a place, they must learn what they can of its culture and history.
Culture and History is Alive
The history of the BVI is one of diverse experiences. It is one where the British and the Dutch fought, claimed and ruled the islands. Yet, the Danes, the French and the Spanish also sought to make the BVI a part of their history. It is a history in which slavery and pirates played their own roles.
Yet, the main purpose of the conquest of the islands was not for agriculture. It was for strategy. During the ever successive struggle, began as early as the 15th century when the wandering and aggressive Caribs displaced the former South American inhabitants the Arawaks. Yet, by 1648 the Dutch had settled on Tortola. The English vanquished them by 1672. It was then that formal agricultural practices arrived in the form of sugar cane plantations and African slaves.
This was followed by an economic decline in the late 19th century and the reclaiming of the islands by its people, although still under British rule. The result is a fascinating history and a diverse culture stretched across the BVI.
Cultural and Historic Sites
To discover the history of the BVI is an adventure on its own. There are the forts, old burial mounds, ancient walls, plantations estates, museums, churches, old government houses, prisons and even copper mines. If you want to explore the history and culture of the BVI your list should include the following:
1. 1780 Lower Estate Sugar Works Museum – Tortola
2. Old Administration Building – Tortola
3. Fort Burt – Tortola
4. Mount Healthy Windmill – Tortola
5. Callwood’s Rum Distillery – Tortola
6. J.R. O’Neal Botanic Gardens – Tortola
7. Old Government House Museum – Tortola
8. Virgin Islands Folk Museum – Tortola
9. The Copper Mine – Virgin Gorda
10. The Wall – Anegada
11. Arawak Conch Burial Mounds – Anegada
Discovering History outside Virgin Islands Villas
If you enjoy learning about the history and culture of other people, don’t let a vacation stay in Virgin Island Villas stop you. Step outside your door and discover the past of the people who have made these islands what it is for you to enjoy today. Explore and appreciate what history and culture mean to the BVI.
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